American Taxation

HOW A NATION BORN OUT OF A TAX REVOLT has—and especially hasn’t—solved the problems of taxing its citizens

 

JEAN BAPTISTE COEBERT, THE FINANCIAL GENIUS WHO kept Louis XIVs famously expensive government afloat, once said, “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”

 
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The First 1040

Seventy-five years ago Americans paid their first income tax. And liked it.

On the evening of March 1, 1914, Americans all around the nation inaugurated what has become a spring ritual for millions of us. They raced to file the first Form 1040 at the last minute before the deadline, hurrying by motorcar or trolley or on foot. Read more »

The Income Tax And How It Grew

and grew, and grew, and grew

Sixty years ago the permanent individual income tax, with escalation built into its table of rates, came on gently and quietly, by no means ignored, yet not the object of any great furor, either. Read more »