Crazy Tax Facts

Crazy Tax Facts

Taxes have been levied on people since the beginning of civilization. Here are some of the most interesting tax facts from the long and fascinating history of taxes:

  • The number of words in Atlas Shrugged is 645,000. The Bible has around 700,000 words. The number of words in the Federal Tax Code: 3,700,000!
  • In the 17th century, England taxed the number of windows on a house. As a result, houses began to be built with few windows or people would close up existing windows. When people began to suffer health problems from lack of fresh air, the tax was finally repealed in 1851.
  • Roman emperor Vespasian levied a tax on urine in the 1st century A.D. Urine at that time was collected and used as a source of ammonia for tanning hides and laundering garments.
  • The word “tax” is from the Latin taxo, meaning “I estimate.”
  • New York City places a special tax on prepared foods, which means that sliced bagels are taxed once as food and again as prepared food, hence creating a sliced bagel tax.
  • Many cities and states levy a “jock tax” on any income earned by entertainers and athletes while working in a particular city. This means athletes have to pay taxes on a portion of their income in any place they play.
  • Regarded as one of the most intelligent people who ever lived, Albert Einstein was no fan of figuring out his taxes. He once said: “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
  • There are at least 480 forms on the IRS Web site. Together with instructions and schedules, you can download 1,132 tax-form related files from irs.gov. Instructions range from form to form, with the instructions for form 1040 taking up an incredible 101 pages (plus index).
  • If someone reports their company for tax evasion in the U.S., he or she will receive 30% of the amount collected.
  • In Texas, cowboy boots are exempt from sales tax.