One of the greatest joys of entering adulthood is the privilege of doing your taxes. Said no one ever. As Albert Einstein once said: “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
Fortunately, our staff here at SoCo Tax & Cloud Accounting knows when a little humor (or at least distraction) is in order.
Below are some random facts and interesting trivia revolving around the greatest mystery this planet has ever encountered – taxes. In fact, some of this information below will leave you asking one simple question – “why?”
- In 1913, the federal tax code was 400 pages. It was 70,000 pages in 2010.
- The number of words in Atlas Shrugged is 645,000. The Bible has roughly 700,000 words. The Federal Tax Code has 3.7 million.
- The word “tax” derives from the Latin word taxo, which means “I estimate.”
- Roughly 90% of people who hire housekeepers and babysitters cheat on their taxes.
- Americans spend over $27.7 billion every year doing their taxes.
- People spend 8.9 billion hours complying with federal tax laws!
- General Electric made more than $4 billion in U.S. profits in 2010. It paid $0 in taxes.
- The seven states with no income tax are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.
- The United States has what is called a progressive tax system, which means that the more money a person makes, the more he or she pays in income tax.
- The word “accountant” is derived from the French word compter, which means “to count” Over 1 million accountants are hired each year in America to help with taxes!
- In 1691, England taxed the number of windows on houses. Thus, houses began to be built with very few windows. The tax was repealed in 1851 when people began to fall ill from lack of ventilation.
- England has a tax on TVs. Color TVs are taxed more than black-and-white TVs. Also, if a blind person has a television, they only pay half the tax.
- WWII is what led to the creation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which later became the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- A majority of all ancient documents are tax records!
- Ireland, Denmark, and other EU nations have started to tax cattle owners on cow flatulence. The tax is $18 per cow in Ireland and $110 per cow in Denmark. They hope to curb greenhouse gases, of which cows are responsible for 18%.
- Tax evasion has been noted as an important contributing cause to the fall of the Roman Empire.
- Above the entrance of the IRS building in Washington D.C. is a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”
- There is no known civilization on the planet that did not tax the population. Even the very first known civilization, the Sumerians, recorded their tax history on clay cones.
- The most famous U.S. tax protest is still the Boston Tea Party. In December 1773, colonists dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act. Their unforgetting argument: no “taxation without representation.” Protesters threw more than 92,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor!
- California has the most millionaires. More than 40,000 Californians reported over $1 million in income. Vermont has the least – less than 300 millionaires.
And don’t forget to take this last joyous little tax tidbit home with you…”The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.” – Barry Goldwater