Tip of the Month for April 2002

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Tips From History On Taxes
So You Don’t Like Your Tax Bracket?

In England, in 1377 the Poll tax noted that the tax on the Duke of Lancaster was 520 times the tax on the common peasant. Do I hear any complaints?

Tax Auditor: Some Things Change and Then Again...

The Pharaohs, in order to maintain their pampered lifestyle, collected taxes. Among the many taxes they levied was the cooking oil tax. To collect those taxes and make sure no one was cheating, they appointed “cooking oil scribes.” These scribes would visit households to determine if the proper amounts of the taxed cooking oil were being consumed and that the citizens were not using drippings or other substitutes for the taxed oil. Pass the butter, please.

Go Diva!

You’ve heard of Lady Godiva perhaps? This well-bred, principled, Anglo-Saxon woman who lived in England in the 11th century, had a heart of pure gold. When her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, levied heavy taxes on the residents of Coventry, Lady Godiva protested. Leo, in joking response, answered his wife’s pleas with the challenge that he would lower the taxes if she rode through the streets naked. So she did. But the Earl, alas, did not keep his word (the louse). This is why we don’t have Leofric, Earl of Mercia chocolates today.

Tax Compliance Ratios Department

President Lincoln enacted the Tax Act of 1862 on July 1st of that year. The intention of this tax was to finance the Civil War. Although the general citizenry accepted the tax, not many followed through. Only 276,661 people actually filed a tax return for that year, out of a total population of 38 million. This is a 0.7 percent (.007) compliance. (Don’t tell anybody)


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