During the various reins of the Egyptian Pharaohs tax collectors were known as scribes. During one period the scribes imposed a tax on cooking oil. To insure that citizens were not avoiding the cooking oil tax scribes would audit households to insure that appropriate amounts of cooking oil were consumed and that citizens were not using leavings generated by other cooking processes as a substitute for the taxed oil.
In times of war the Athenians imposed a tax referred to as eisphora. No one was exempt from the tax which was used to pay for special wartime expenditures. The Greeks are one of the few societies that were able to rescind the tax once the emergency was ...view middle of the document...
He was not of the old publicani but hired by the local government to collect taxes.
In 60 A.D. Boadicea, queen of East Anglia led a revolt that can be attributed to corrupt tax collectors in the British Isles. Her revolt allegedly killed all Roman soldiers within 100 miles; seized London; and it is said that over 80,000 people were killed during the revolt. The Queen was able to raise an army of 230,000. The revolt was crushed by Emperor Nero and resulted in the appointment of new administrators for the British Isles.1
The first tax assessed in England was during occupation by the Roman Empire.
Lady Godiva was an Anglo-Saxon woman who lived in England during the 11th century. According to legend, Lady Godiva's husband Leofric, Earl of Mercia, promised to reduce the high taxes he levied on the residents of Coventry when she agreed to ride naked through the streets of the town.
When Rome fell, the Saxon kings imposed taxes, referred to as Danegeld, on land and property. The kings also imposed substantial customs duties.
The 100 years War (the conflict between England and France) began in 1337 and ended in 1453. One of the key factors that renewed fighting in 1369 was the rebellion of the nobles of Aquitaine over the oppressive tax policies of Edward, The Black Prince.
Taxes during 14th century were very progressive; The 1377 Poll tax noted that the tax on the Duke of Lancaster was 520 times the tax on the common peasant.
Under the earliest taxing schemes an income tax was imposed on the wealthy, office holders, and the clergy. A tax on movable property was imposed on merchants. The poor paid little or no taxes.
Charles I was ultimately charged with treason and beheaded. However, his problems with Parliament came about because of a disagreement in 1629 about the rights of taxation afforded the King and the rights of taxation afforded the Parliament.
The King's Writ stated that individuals should be taxed according to status and means. Hence the idea of a progressive tax on those with the ability to pay was developed very early.
Other prominent taxes imposed during this period were taxes on land and various excise taxes. To pay for the army commanded by Oliver Cromwell, Parliament, in 1643, imposed excise taxes on essential commodities (grain, meat, etc.). The taxes imposed by Parliament extracted even more funds than taxes imposed by Charles I, especially from the poor. The excise tax was very regressive, increasing the tax on the poor so much that the Smithfield riots occurred in 1647. The riots occurred because the new taxes lowered rural laborers ability to buy wheat to the point where a family of four would starve. In addition to the excise tax, the common lands used for hunting by the peasant class were enclosed and peasant hunting was banned (hooray for Robin Hood).
A precursor to the modern income tax we know today was invented by the British in 1800 to finance their...