Topics: Tax, Taxation, Taxation in the United States Pages: 18 (6716 words) Published: December 11, 2012
What it is the taxes, and what it means?
Taxes have been around since the dawn of recorded history. You can find references to taxes in Greek and Roman civilizations. Throughout history, taxes and wars seem inextricably linked. Taxation, it seems, is a convenient way to pay for the high cost of going to war. To tax (from the Latin taxo; "I estimate") is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities. Taxes consist of direct tax or indirect tax, and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent (often but not always unpaid labour). A tax may be defined as a “pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property owners to support the government a payment exacted by legislative authority.” A tax "is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative authority" and is "any contribution imposed by government, whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name."

1. A brief history of taxes around the world. Chronology. Egypt
During the various reins of the Egyptian Pharaohs tax collectors were known as scribes.  During one period the scribes imposed a tax on cooking oil.  To insure that citizens were not avoiding the cooking oil tax scribes would audit households to insure that appropriate amounts of cooking oil were consumed and that citizens were not using leavings generated by other cooking processes as a substitute for the taxed oil. Greece

In times of war the Athenians imposed a tax referred to as eisphora. No one was exempt from the tax which was used to pay for special wartime expenditures.  The Greeks are one of the few societies that were able to rescind the tax once the emergency was over.  When additional resources were gained by the war effort the resources were used to refund the tax. Athenians imposed a monthly poll tax on foreigners, people who did not have both an Athenian Mother and Father, of one drachma for men and a half drachma for women.  The tax was referred to as metoikion Roman empire

The earliest taxes in Rome were customs duties on imports and exports called portoria. Caesar Augustus was consider by many to be the most brilliant tax strategist of the Roman Empire.  During his reign as "First Citizen" the publicani were virtually eliminated as tax collectors for the central government.  During this period cities were given the responsibility for collecting taxes.  Caesar Augustus instituted an inheritance tax to provide retirement funds for the military.  The tax was 5 percent on all inheritances except gifts to children and spouses.   The English and Dutch referred to the inheritance tax of Augustus in developing their own inheritance taxes. During the time of Julius Caesar a 1 percent sales tax was imposed.  During the time of Caesar Augustus the sales tax was 4 percent for slaves and 1 percent for everything else. Saint Matthew was a publican (tax collector) from Capernaum during Caesar Augustus reign.  He was not of the old publicani but hired by the local government to collect taxes. In 60 A.D. Boadicea, queen of East Anglia led a revolt that can be attributed to corrupt tax collectors in the British Isles.  Her revolt allegedly killed all Roman soldiers within 100 miles; seized London; and it is said that over 80,000 people were killed during the revolt.  The Queen was able to raise an army of 230,000.  The revolt was crushed by Emperor Nero and resulted in the appointment of new administrators for the British Isles. Great Britan

The first tax assessed in England was during occupation by the Roman Empire. Lady Godiva
Lady Godiva was an Anglo-Saxon woman who lived in England during the 11th century. According to legend, Lady Godiva's husband Leofric, Earl of...
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