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10 fascinating facts about taxes

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Beth Williams
Beth Williams of Williams & Kunkel CPAs in Flower Mound.

Taxes have been levied on people since the beginning of civilization. Since Tax Day is almost upon us, we thought it would be fun to share some of the most interesting facts from the long and fascinating history of taxes:

  • The number of words in Atlas Shrugged is 645,000. The Bible has around 700,000 words. The number of words in the Federal Tax Code: 3,700,000!
  • In the 17th century, England taxed the number of windows on a house. As a result, houses began to be built with few windows or people would close up existing windows. When people began to suffer health problems from lack of fresh air, the tax was finally repealed in 1851.
  • Roman emperor Vespasian levied a tax on urine in the 1st century A.D. Urine at that time was collected and used as a source of ammonia for tanning hides and laundering garments.
  • The word “tax” is from the Latin “taxo,” meaning “I estimate.”
  • New York City places a special tax on prepared foods, which means that sliced bagels are taxed once as food and again as prepared food, hence creating a sliced bagel tax.
  • Many cities and states levy a “jock tax” on any income earned by entertainers and athletes while working in a particular city. This means athletes have to pay taxes on a portion of their income in any place they play.
  • Regarded as one of the most intelligent people who ever lived, Albert Einstein was no fan of figuring out his taxes. He once said: “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
  • There are at least 480 forms on the IRS Web site. Together with instructions and schedules, you can download 1,132 tax-form related files from irs.gov. Instructions range from form to form, with the instructions for form 1040 taking up an incredible 101 pages (plus index).
  • If someone reports their company for tax evasion in the U.S., he or she will receive 30% of the amount collected.
  • In Texas, cowboy boots are exempt from sales tax.

And don’t forget Tax Day 2016!  Your Individual Federal Income Tax return is due on April 18th, 2016.  So we get three extra days to file this year.  You can thank Washington D.C. for this gift.  They celebrate “Emancipation Day” on April 16th.  This commemorates the day that Abraham Lincoln signed into law a bill ending slavery in Washington, D.C. So since that day falls on Saturday this year, they will celebrate on Friday and Tax Day is pushed back to Monday April 18th.

But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until April 18th to visit your tax preparer.  If you need help with your individual or business taxes, come visit us at Williams & Kunkel, CPAs in Flower Mound.  We would love to help you!

If you’re looking for a trusted tax professional to give you sound advice and prepare your taxes the right way, call Williams & Kunkel CPAs, LLP today at 972-446-1040. You can also visit them online at GetMyTaxesDone.com.

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