It’s mid tax season and I’m not really up for doing much work today. Although I have 13 appointments , a pile of files to go through and some e-filing,today I need a little fun. Here are some fun tax facts to keep your day interesting.
1. If someone reports their company of tax evasion they receive 30 percent of the amount collected. I’m thinking an early retirement.
2.The word “tax” is from the Latin word taxo, meaning “I estimate”. Makes sense since Congress estimates the budget, deficit and taxes. I think I’ll estimate my earnings this year.
3. Excise taxes are also called “sin taxes”. They are taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gambling. Guess some of us are going to hell!
4. Over 1 million accountants are hired every year to file taxes. Seems like we have job security in our industry.
5. Roman Emporer Vespasian placed a tax on urine in the 1st century A.D. At that time urine was used as a source of ammonia for tanning hides and laundry. Not sure I would want my clothes washed in urine. YUCK!
7. The first income tax ever was in 1404 England. Let’s thank the Brits for paving the way for all of us.
8. There are 1120+ current active U.S. Federal tax forms. No wonder the average person can’t understand how to do their own returns.
9. There are more than 7 million words in the tax code. This is more than the Gettysburg Address, Declaration of Independence and the Holy Bible combined. That’s one big book!
10. Between 2000 and 2006 61% of Corporations paid no taxes. LOOPHOLES!
More Fun Tax Facts
11. The first property tax in the United States was in 1798 and was on homes, land and slaves.
12. In at least 23 states there is a tax on illegal drugs. The next time you purchase cocaine remember you have 48 hours to contact the Department of Revenue to pay your tax and get a stamp for the substance. I wonder if anyone ever did this.
13. The 1040EZ has 33 pages of instructions. Sounds simple enough!
14. In 2010 General Electric reported over $4 billion in profits…they paid zero in taxes. WOW!
15. “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” Albert Einstein
16. In 1787 U.S. citizens could only vote if they were taxpayers.
18. Aruba has the highest income tax in the world up to 58.95%! At least you can file your taxes while tanning on the beach.
19. Exxon Mobil is the top american company paying the most taxes.
20. The first income tax in the United States started during the Civil War in 1862.
The Fun Tax Facts Continues…
21. The IRS received more than 140 million tax returns in 2012. However, several processing centers were closed and the budget was cut.
22. Almost 90% of all tax returns are efiled. I’m feeling a little nostalgic looking back to the days of paper filing and long lines at the post office at midnight on April 15th.
24. The IRS has more people working for it than the FBI. Yet, efiling is always delayed, tax notices are 2 years behind and amended returns still can’t be electronically filed.
25. The Taxpayer’s prayer: “Oh Mighty Internal Revenue Service, who turneth the labor of man to ashes, we thank thee for the multitude of thy forms which thou hast set before us and for the infinite confusion of thy commandments, which mulitplyth the fortunes of lawyer and accountant alike”. – Russell Baker
So here it is. 25 fun tax facts. If your sitting behind your desk with a pile of files, staring at the computer hoping that one day you can get out from under the flourescent lights, I hope these fun tax facts brightened your day a bit.
For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization. Charles Adams.
“Tax Rates: Does the U.S. Have the Highest in the World?” Stacy Curtin. The Daily Ticker 2013.
How Taxation Works. Laura LaBella. 2011.
“Tax Facts That Will Make Your Head Explode.” Joe Weisenthal. Business Insider 2013.