Hello, my name is Winnie Griggs and I’m a procrastinator. I have just spent the past three days buried hip deep in tattered receipts, spreadsheets and a confusing mountain of forms working on my income taxes.
I’m happy to report that I am now done with them but my brain is a bit fried so I hope you’ll excuse me for not doing an in-depth well-researched post on some fun tidbit of history. Instead, since I have taxes on the brain, I thought I’d share just a brief look at some fun facts (a bit of an oxymoron, I know) about the Federal Income Tax system.
- The word ‘tax’ comes from the Latin taxo, which means I estimate.
- Income tax was first introduced in the U.S. in 1861. Its purpose was to help pay for the Civil War.
- All but seven states charge a State Income Tax – those seven are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
- The Bureau of Internal Revenue was created during WWII. This later became the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS. It was also during this same time frame that taxes began to be withheld from paychecks
- The IRS is the largest accounting and tax-collection organization in the world. As of 2010 there were approximately 106,00 IRS employees. During that same time we had 45,000 troops in Iraq, less than half the number.
- In the U.S. Income Tax regulations are so complex that there are over 1.2 million professional tax preparers in the country – including accountants, lawyers and computer experts.
- The IRS lists nearly 2000 files on its Forms and Publications’ search page.
- The US Tax Code is approximately 4 million words. About five times as many words as are in the bible and a little under four times as many as all the books in the Harry Potter series together.
So there you have it – my brief list of interesting tidbits. I hope you learned a little something from it. And I also hope you had smoother sailing with your tax preparations this year than I did.