Friday, December 2, 2011

Death and Taxes

These are probably the only constants in some one's life. You will pay taxes no matter what and you will die at some point. But have you ever thought of what you pay for taxes? Our ancestors paid some of the stupidest taxes ever. If you think you pay for stuff you can't explain (for example income tax + VAT + Real estate...) then look at these taxes and feel lucky that our great politicians aren't so creative...

  • 1696: Window tax

I’m sure you have noticed older buildings that have their windows bricked up. Back in the 17th century, William III imposed a tax on houses that have more than six windows. He wanted this tax to help fund the wars in Ireland and on the continent.
These homeowners decided to instead brick up the windows. The tax was only repealed in 1851. 
I can only guess that this will never pass today... If they tax windows again all those fancy skyscrapers will get taxed... and you know who owns most of them right? Taxing the rich????
  • Dealing illegal drugs Tax

North America Internal Revenue Service actually asked people to include their illegal drug dealings in their tax form... More or less asking them to implicate themselves in dealing drugs... And after you go to jail probably pay the tax too... Again this law won't ever come back... Again rich people will have something to say about this... 
  • Disagreeing with the king tax

Oliver Cromwell actually passed a tax like this. Everyone disagreeing with me... sorry, I meant the king, would be taxed... I like the way he was thinking...
  • 14th century England - Existence tax
You probably guessed it. The fact that you are alive is owed to your beloved government. Pay for it. They did... At least before they revolted...

  • 1783: Hat tax
In 1783-4 Prime Minister Pitt the Younger introduced an excise duty on men’s hats. He did this to raise money easily for the government.

  • The Being-Foreign Tax

Taxes levied specifically against foreigners and immigrants are not all that unusual, even up through the 20th century. Canada started taxing Chinese immigrants in 1885 and didn't stop until 1923. Unfortunately, this pain-in-the-arse tax ended not because anyone had a change of heart, but because that's when the Chinese Immigration Act prohibited the Chinese from entering Canada at all. Genius...

  • The Nobel Prize Tax

Oh yes, this still exists my friends. If you get any kind of prize you are taxed for it. Although there is a loophole. Don't touch the prize and donate it to charity or the government... 

Finally since we all laughed with these taxes. Say you earn 1000 dollars per month and you pay all the taxes, which can be found in wikipedia for each country, you are probably end up with less than half your salary, just for taxes... You are still laughing at the previous taxes now?