The United States Tax System

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Past Influences, the United States Tax System
The Power of Tax
Franklin D Roosevelt once said “Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society”. Though the word, tax, itself has so much power the basic definition is to asses a fee against a citizen person, property, or activity for the support of the government (Tax, n.d. , para. 2). Just mentioning taxes as a headliner on a newscast will draw the public in to listen to the news. The word is unescapable since as citizens of the United States taxes are paid on almost all earned income and on the majority of goods or services purchased. In order for the federal government to fund for expenditures related to the economy; taxes are collected from
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14). Over the years no internal revenues were collected, hence to raise money for war Congress would raise excise taxes, custom duties, and issue Treasury notes (History of the US Tax, 2003, para. 14).
Civil War Influence Initially few taxes did exist in the United States, however it was not until 1862, and Congress enacted the nation’s first income tax law (Brief History of IRS). During this time period the nation was going through the Civil War, and in order to support the war Congress established the office of Commissioner of the Internal Revenue (History of Income Tax). The Commissioner of 1862 still has the same obligations, thus the power to collect taxes, levy, seize property, assess, and enforce tax laws. Throughout the Civil War any person earning from $600 to $10,000 per year paid tax at the rate of three percent, while people that earned more than $10,000 paid a higher rate of five percent (History of Income Tax).Although the people who earned more were taxed at a higher rate in the course of time, a standard deduction of $600 was also enacted for rental housing, repairs, losses, and other taxes paid (History of the US Tax, 2003, para. 14). With the end of the Civil War, the necessity for the additional tax revenue began to diminish as well as public support of the individual income tax rate. Congress did eventually decrease the
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