Naturally it’s our job, as personal finance bloggers, to remind you that today is the deadline to file all your sexy taxes. (So if you haven’t done so already, hurry up or file an automatic extension!) But rather than get into anything much deeper than that – for fear of boring you right outta here – I figured we’d make it fun and fill your heads today with more fascinating factoids instead. You know, in case you’re trying to woo any ladies or impress your boss this week ;)
- The first income tax ever was in 1404 in England.
- In 1789, at the start of the French Revolution, tax collectors were sent to the guillotine.
- The first property tax in the US was in 1798: On land, houses, and slaves.
- The first US income tax started during in the Civil War to help raise money back in 1862.
- The first e-file (electronic transmission of a tax return) occurred on January 24, 1986.
- 61% of US corporations paid no income tax between 1996 and 2000. (!!!)
- A “Jock Tax” is levied on athletes who earn an income competing in a particular city or state. California first levied this tax on athletes from Chicago in 1991 after the Chicago Bulls beat the LA Lakers in the ’91 NBA finals.
- Alabama has a 10-cent tax on a deck of playing cards.
- Peter the Great in Russia once taxed beards on all men except for peasants and priests. (HAH! I’d have been in a lot of trouble this year, then ;) )
- There are over 7 million words in the tax law and regulations. That beats the Gettysburg address, the Declaration of Independence, and the Holy Bible all rolled into one (269+1,337+773k).
Wild, huh? I think one of the first versions of the 1040 was something like 3 pages long too – so frustrating how complicated it’s gotten over the years :( Though I suppose my accountant likes it ;) In a way, it keeps millions of people employed! Haha… so there’s that.
How many of you still haven’t filed? You saying “screw it,” or gonna go for the nice extension and avoid penalties? (I hope it’s the latter!) I can’t tell you how glad I am to be done with it this year – probably the worst time I’ve had since I’ve turned 16, bleh. Hope you guys got a lot back this year!! I know people hate on “loaning the gov’t” money like that, but I’d take it HANDS DOWN any day. Much better than owing over $6,000 one day, believe me. Overpay all you want and do something good with that money at the end of the year!
PS: For a good read on *more* interesting tax facts – including a whole bunch that would probably piss you off – check out Jim’s total list of 50 fun facts. Happy Tax Day!
(Photo by Gamma Man)