Taxes are, without a doubt, complex, which is why lots of people opt to just pay experts to do it for them. Fortunately, services like TurboTax and FreeTaxUSA make things simpler so you don’t need to worry too much about such duties anymore.
In addition to the process, however, there are quite a few more things that can get quite frustrating and silly about taxes. For example, some of the things taxed in some parts of the US and abroad will surprise you. They will cause raised eyebrows but if you can take them lightly, you might find some kind of amusement in them.
So what are these ridiculous things that people pay or paid taxes for? Here are a few that might give you a giggle:
In Rome during the 1st century AD, urine was bought and sold for various purposes. It was primarily used to whiten woolen togas, tanning, and other chemical processes for its high ammonia content. Buyers were then charged a tax every time they bought urine from collectors.
The window tax is exactly what it is: a tax on the windows you’ll put in your home. It took effect in the late 1600s as well as in the 18th and 19th centuries in Great Britain. It may sound silly on paper but if you’ll think about it, it makes sense because it greatly affects rich people who are already moneyed enough to add a lot of windows to their homes.
For some reason, Missouri wanted their constituents to get married in the 1800s that they imposed a bachelor tax on single men of ages 21 to 50. A dollar is required to be paid for every year that a man stays unhitched. It’s technically still in effect today but is not exactly enforced.
Ridiculous taxes are not reserved to history, as it turns out. In New York, one of the most modern places today, there is a bagel-cutting tax in effect. Sliced bagels are considered as restaurant-prepared food which is therefore subjected to tax.
Opportunity to Dance Tax
This is one of the most mind-boggling taxes in the modern age, in our opinion. This tax applicable in the state of Washington was briefly repealed from 2013 to 2017 but is in effect once again. It charges venues where you can dance the night away.
Decorative Pumpkins Tax
Someone in New Jersey seemed to really dislike the idea of decorating for Halloween as the Decorative Pumpkins Tax is in effect there. If consumed as food, pumpkins are tax-free but if this type of gourd was cut, painted, varnished, or sold as decorations, they incur a sales tax.
The boom of the legal marijuana industry may have helped legislators realize that there’s money to be made in illegal substances. However, many states are still very hesitant in legalizing them. Some like Nebraska and Tennessee, however, came up with taxing drug dealers without incriminating them right away. They’re just supposed to buy a tax stamp to prove that they have paid their dues so when they get busted for possession of illegal substances, they won’t be charged for tax evasion on top of the possession charges.
Illegal Activity Tax
To widen the net in taxing those who engage in illegal activities, the IRS requires everyone to declare the income they get from their illegal activities, too. The information on this matter should be noted down in the line 21 of Form 1040 or in the Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ. This covers selling of illegal substances, embezzlement, or stealing properties. Do they really expect people to be honest in this area?
Cow Flatulence Tax
Many countries who have been actively trying to reduce their carbon emissions have passed bills that will tax cow flatulence. These gas excretions are some of the leading producers of methane, a greenhouse gas. New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Denmark, and the state of California are just a few of the places that have already imposed such levies.