How Much Do You Know About The History Of The U.S. Tax System?

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This week, the television show "Jeopardy!" featured a category titled "April 15th," filled with fun facts about the dire day. Let's see how much you know about U.S. tax history.

What was the first tax imposed upon the American Colonies? How did the U.S. pay the debts generated by the American Revolution? a) Property taxes, based on acreage and improvements; b) excise taxes on liquor, tobacco, sugar, auctions; c) head taxes, levied on each person in household and servants and slaves; d) travel taxes, fees to enter and exit the country; e) All of the above. Why was the first personal income tax assessed in the U.S.? Which amendment to the Constitution made income taxes permanent? What was the range of the first tax rates or brackets? When was a Social Security tax first imposed? What problem was it intended to solve? When did income tax withholding become a permanent part of our lives? Why is illegal income taxed, right along with legal income? When was the Internal Revenue Service formed? What is the Internal Revenue Service's mission statement?

The answers

1. What was the first tax imposed upon the American Colonies? Answer, according to the Treasury Department: "The Stamp Act in 1765. England's need for revenues to pay for its wars against France led it to impose a series of taxes on the American colonies. In 1765, the English Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which was the first tax imposed directly on the American colonies, and then Parliament imposed a tax on tea."...

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