What Unusual and Strange Taxes Did Ever Come to Mind?

There are times when you thought you saw something but there was none when you take a second look. You walk by the beach and pick up something that caught your eye; a shell or exoskeleton, it must be.

There are people that insists that the Earth is flat, even now. Scientist or academicians even come up with theories to explain what they could not explain.

The world is full of such since the beginning of time that it will make you believe that life or this real world that we live in is stranger than fiction or any imagination. Indeed, it is so because in the world of taxation, crackpots and usurpers were born to make life difficult and funny at times.

Ancient Taxes.

  • Mesopotamia, the first civilization, already had taxes and people paid the full year in the preferred currency: livestock. (This can be verified through the clay tablets written in cuneiform.)
  • In 2006, China repealed an agricultural tax to unburden their farmers. That tax had been around for 2,600 years making it the oldest tax in the world. (Weren’t there different kingdoms during that time in that part of the world?)
  • The Pharaoh of Egypt taxed cooking oil and the only supplier was himself. Further, nobody was allowed to re-use the cooking oil they had bought. (The Pharaoh was the god of Egypt and you have to follow his law. Good thing you don’t have to buy it every day.)
  • In the past, ammonia was used to clean woolen white togas and the source for ammonia was human urine. In 1st century AD, the Roman Emperor taxed urine from users and not the collectors.
  • In ancient Rome, slaves were set free after serving a length of time or has paid his debt. Upon their freedom, tax collectors swoop in and tax them their freedom. 
  • Soap was taxed in the Middle Ages in most of Europe, which was slowly erased by individual countries, the last of which was Great Britain in 1835. (So, you’re saying, soap was a luxury item back then?)
  • Beards somehow help cope up in cold temperatures and in Russia men adapted to this fashion. In 1705, Emperor Peter the Great taxed beard to force men to be clean-shaven.
  • A tax that helped fuel the fires of a revolution appeared in France. This was a salt tax which the French called a gabelle which infuriated the people that was one of the trigger factors of the French Revolution.
  • Chinese Head Tax was approved in Canada in 1885 that imposed an amount for every Chinese citizen entering into the country. This tax existed until 1923 when, at that same year, they passed a law banning altogether the entry of Chinese citizens; except for a few. (What is it with the Chinese?)

Taxes from England

  • A tax that caused to limit the powers of the king happened in England. King Henry I made the tax called “scutage” to accommodate knights of the kingdom to turn their backs from their duties in wars and fights. 

When King John came and sat on the throne, he immediately increased the rate by 300%. 

Some of the people speculate that this contributed to the creation of the Magna Carta that limited the King’s powers.

  • Taxes were already collected on playing cards as early as 1500s. In 1710, however, the government substantially increased the tax that led to many forged cards and dice. This tax saw two world wars and in the middle of the Vietnam War, in 1960, it was removed.
  • If you have one too many windows, you have to pay tax. The Window Tax was of England happened in 1696 that was repealed in 1851 because people were of ill health caused by low circulation of air.
  • In Old England, taxes were created that eventually were repealed for various reasons but the common of which was unpopularity among the people. The list is short and there could be other items of the same nature, to wit: hats, candles, bricks, and fireplaces.
  •  If you own a television in England, you must pay an annual tax for each television you own.  Colored TVs were taxed higher than black and white. If a blind person owns a unit, he will have to pay half. 

The money collected was used to fund programs on the BBC network. Failure to comply puts one under criminal liability. In 2012, more than 100,000 convictions were recorded.

At A Glance.

This shows the all-encompassing power of the government or the king or emperor. But we are no king and the deadline is only weeks away. Talk to TAXACT for your returns, they are serious people, and they exist to make it easy for you.

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