Inventors of taxes
The history of taxation is perhaps no less ancient than the history of humanity itself. And what kind of taxes the state did not invent! Sometimes it came to very extravagant and curious ways of charging money from the population. For example, in the USSR at one time was widely known "tax on childlessness", which bachelors and childless married couples were obliged to pay. And in the Republic of Guinea, they still levy a tax on the world ...
In the 18th century, the inhabitants of Bürttemberg ran into a strange tax of their state. The owner of each house was obliged to kill 12 sparrows, for which it was necessary to pay 6 kreutzers. But if someone wanted to take pity on the poor birds and cannot provide the required number of carcasses, then he had to pay the state 12 kreutzers. It is quite natural that no one wanted to run after the birds, because in the country there was an underground trade in dead sparrows.
The tax on the shadow.
Even intangible objects are subject to tax. An example of this was Venice, which recently, in 1993, imposed a tax on the shadow.According to this rule, all establishments whose shadow from tents and umbrellas falls on the urban land are obliged to pay for it. The authorities realized that getting rid of the shadow is quite difficult, so the tax regularly replenishes the city treasury.
Such a strange tax was introduced by the Roman emperor Vespesian, who lived in the 70s at the very beginning of our era. Such a measure did not find support primarily from the son of the ruler, Titus. Then the emperor took the money earned in this way, brought it to his son’s nose and said the legendary phrase: “Money does not smell”. True, Titus replied: "And yet they are from urine."
In addition, the pampered Romans were accustomed to the marble public toilets of their city and began to pay the state for it. Yes, and toilets, like the famous baths, were used not only in direct need, but also for the sake of meetings and conversations.
Tax on cowardice.
It is a shame to be a coward, and sometimes unprofitable! Indeed, at the beginning of the twelfth century, a tax on cowardice was introduced in England. According to him, every knight or liable for military service, who did not want to fight for the glory of his king in numerous wars, was obliged to pay.
At first, the amount was small, but probably there were so many people willing to pay, and so little to fight, that King John increased the tax 3 times at once.In addition, the ruler began to take money from the knights, even in peacetime. As a result, the tax so outraged the population that was one of the reasons for the emergence of the Magna Carta.
Tax on hats.
Today, to expect that such a tax would be profitable is hard. But there were times when the state was counting on these revenues. This happened in England from 1784 to 1811. After all, it was in her that every man wore a bowler hat or top hat, regardless of his social status and wealth. The tax worked especially well among the rich. After all, they possessed several hats at once, while the poor had at best one. The country began to receive money from scratch, but in the end, the tax had to be canceled.
This tax is well known to us from history. After all, Peter the Great introduced it in Russia in 1689. The king tried to bring the country closer to Europe, starting with the removal of beards. There were several types of them - boyar, merchant, peasant, etc. A peasant could wear a beard for free only in his village, and at the entrance to the city he had to pay 1 penny.
Bearded men were even forced to walk in a special uncomfortable zipune with a stand-up collar.If such a person appeared in a different dress, then a penalty was imposed on him for each case of violation. Insolvent bearded men were even sent to penal servitude for their debts to the state.
Such a tax, among other things, is one of the most senseless. In America, there is an organization called the Internal Revenue Service that performs the functions of our tax inspection. This service officially requires that illegal proceeds from the sale of drugs be declared. To do this, even highlighted the line number 21 in the form of 1040. It remains only to find a conscientious dealer, who admits to violating the laws only to pay the taxes due.
In the world of slavery such a tax was natural. It originated in ancient Rome. There a free tax (manumission) was paid when the slave was released. Sometimes the sum was paid by the owner himself, it was believed that he was rich enough to release the slave to freedom. But in most cases, the tax was paid by the slave himself. You can imagine the grief of a former slave who paid the owner for his release and found out that he now has to pay for it to Rome too.
Tax on dissidents.
This tax is a dream of modern politicians. After all, he allowed to force dissenters to pay for their opinions. As a result, dissidents either changed their point of view or simply lost their means of livelihood. History created a precedent for such a tax - it was introduced in 1655 by Oliver Cromwell. Although he was not an English monarch, he possessed great power in England. This tax was imposed on supporters of the king, who threatened the country. The collected money allowed the creation of a national militia that protected the country from the warlike royalists. But not always people can see where their money is spent.
The tax on life.
And there is no way to refuse such a tax at all, any taxman dreams of this! After all, you have to pay all, regardless of income, age or occupation. Once the English rulers decided that people should pay only because they live in this world. So there was a tax on life. The inhabitants of England began to pay according to such a law in the XIV century. As a result, the country experienced a great uprising, which was called Peasants' Revolt.
If you believe that the Nobel Prize winners, who received it for achievements in politics, science and literature, do not pay tax on this, then you are mistaken.Since 1986, this premium has become subject to the category of cash gifts, the state imposes a corresponding tax on it. The percentage of payment in each country is different, but this fact is quite remarkable. An exception is made only in the case of donation by the laureate of the entire amount to charity. In this case, he simply does not have the money. The state may also offer assistance to a specific college or school.
Tax on foreigners.
In our time, such a tax is not only not considered strange, but it is supposed to be quite normal. Any foreigner must pay the state the fact of their stay in it. Such taxes, meanwhile, have long been out of fashion - they existed in different states until the 20th century.
So, in Canada until 1923, a tax on the Chinese! Why on them? At that time, many former citizens of the Celestial Empire came to Canada, which led to the introduction of a tax that regularly replenished the country's treasury. As a result, in 1923 the tax was abolished, but not because of concern for the poor Asians. It’s just that there are so many Chinese in the country that the government wisely decided to ban them from entering Canada altogether.
Tax on the pipe.
English rulers loved to invent all kinds of taxes. Everything that moves and breathes and has already paid money. The population could not meekly look at it, hiding objects of taxes or under the floor, or in the chimney. The state decided to fight such a disgrace by adopting a tax on the hearth in 1660. Now anyone could hide in the chimney, whatever. The pipe itself was also taxed. But even here the population began to cheat - people began to disassemble their pipes and use the neighbors. The use of one common pipe into several rooms came into fashion. But after a series of major fires in London in the 1680s, the tax was still canceled.
Tax on windows.
This tax on the use of glass eventually became an important cultural, architectural and social phenomenon, first in England and Scotland, and then throughout Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result, bricks laid windows appeared in some buildings of that period. In those days, the production of glass was quite an expensive event. Few dared to use it for windows and similar purposes. Therefore, the tax on windows with glass, introduced in 1696 by King William III, was essentially a wealth tax.
Soon, however, the mechanism began to be used more widely, bringing the state to arrive, like other ordinary similar laws. In those days, the richest people used such a tax to isolate themselves from middle-income people. A castle or country house was purchased, whose architecture implied the largest number of windows. Sometimes windows were even built into the bearing walls. The famous window tax existed until 1851, it was replaced by another, which became the basis of the current city tax.
Experts say that the expression "theft of daylight" appeared precisely because of this famous law. However, the first phrase that someone had stolen daylight dates from 1949. But by the time the window tax almost 100 has been canceled, making the hypothesis unlikely. And in France from 1798 to 1926 there was a similar tax imposed by the Napoleons. The French paid not only windows, but also doors.
Tax for Denmark.
In 991, the inhabitants of England were forced to pay a land tax in order to pay the ransom to the Danish Vikings for the opportunity to live in peace. In fact, Denmark has taxed residents of another state.Very unusual form of racketeering! This tax existed for almost 200 years - until 1194. By that time, the money no longer went to Denmark, staying in the country and heading to buy weapons and build fortresses.
It would seem that unusual in such a tax? However, history says that this tax entailed large-scale events. So, the salt tax led the Chinese empire to decline, in France it significantly accelerated the development of the French revolution. The existence of a tax in India caused mass demonstrations, Mahatma Gandhi also took part in them. Is it any wonder the indignation of the Indians, because England has established a tax rate of 4000%! He brought to the treasury of the country 5% of the total income.
Tax on the clock.
Another interesting tax was introduced by the British in 1797. This time the state treasury was filled up by the owners of the watches. The tax lasted only 1 year, but during it every owner of the watch paid the country 5 shillings.
Tax for the right to ride a bike.
In March 1910, the City Council of Simbirsk adopted a decree according to which every bicycle owner had to pay 50 kopecks to the city treasury. The cyclists, on the other hand, were given a booklet in which the driving rules were detailed.So, it was forbidden to ride on sidewalks, parks and gardens, as well as move in large groups around the city. In addition, each owner of the bike was supposed to equip his vehicle with a license plate.
Under Peter I, citizens paid not only for beards, but also for eyes. The tax was introduced at the beginning of the XVIII century in Bashkiria. People paid to the state depending on the color of their eyes. So, for black treasury received 3 altyns, and for gray - already 8.
Lovers of skiing in the Alps is very large. As a result, 150,000 people are injured every year, and the cost of treating them exceeds a billion shillings. So they decided in Austria to help their clinics. Now, every time skiers pay a tax on gypsum, which is transferred to local medical institutions.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Armenian residents were obliged to pay a tax on dust. But the leader in the number of the most unusual taxes is Tibet. Residents of this country were literally "strangled" by taxes for every suitable and inappropriate occasion: do you want to sing, dance, beat the drums or ring the bells? Pay tax! No one would have given just to just lie on the grass without paying tax to the owners of the land.Taxes levied on any event in the life of a Tibetan - whether it be a wedding, a funeral, or the birth of a child.
Well, the earliest inventiveness was a tax on the ears, which the Tibetan government temporarily imposed to create a regular army in the early 20th century. Of course, no one wanted to cut off his ears, so the required amount was collected as soon as possible and Tibet had its own regular army.