tax factsChances are you are far more familiar with taxes than you would ever like to be. So this year before sweating over tax returns, check out these fun tax facts and history that just might ease your pain.

A little history…

  • It turns out we have England to blame for the invention of the income tax. The first one took place here in 1404. The U.S. adopted this during the Civil War in 1862 to help raise money.
  • Hate for tax collectors stems all the way back to 1789 in France. The French certainly did not hold back their anger here and sent tax collectors straight to the guillotine.
  • A few thousand years earlier, the people of Greece seemed to have a better response to collectors and were even named some of the most noble men in the land

Just the facts…

  • The IRS is not a believer in keeping it short and sweet. In tax laws and regulations there are over seven million words, far surpassing the Gettysburg Address, Harry Potter and even the Bible.
  • Form 6478: Credit for alcohol used as fuel. Now if only this credit could be applied for people…
  • Every year the IRS mails eight billion pages in instructions and forms.
  • Even the easiest tax form to complete, the 1040EZ comes with a mere 33 pages of directions
  • Over 20% of paper tax returns have at least one error. The lesson here; work with a professional or complete your taxes online
  • As much hatred as you may hold against the IRS you have to at least give them credit for being efficient. For every $100 that they collect it only costs them 39 cents.
  • The IRS employees an average of over 110 thousand people, more than the FBI and CIA


Okay, so not all tax facts are fun…

  • Between 1996 and 2000 an unnerving 61% of U.S. corporations did not pay income taxes
  • While nearly 40% of taxes came from corporations in 1943, they accounted for only 7% in 2003