Fun Facts about TAX

First Income Tax

The first Income tax appears to be in the year 10 AD, in China. The Emperor Wang Mang (during the Xan Dynasty ) brought in a tax of 10% on all profits for any skilled laborers and professionals. It lasted a mere 13 years later as the Emperor was overthrown in 23 AD. (Perhaps not a popular move)

Income tax was introduced in the UK in 1188 by Henry II. He wanted to raise money for his third crusade against the Infidel. He raised a tax which demanded that each ‘layperson’ in the UK paid a tenth of their income and all moveable property to the king. The tax was known as the Saladin Tithe.
The first true Income Taxes were introduced in the UK and USA to pay for wars
  • In the UK the date was 1799 and the wars were against Napoleon. The politician who brought it in was William Pitt the younger.
  • In the USA the date was 1861 and it was used to finance the American Civil War.

First VAT

The consumption tax, known as VAT, was first introduced in France by Maurice Laure in 1954. (Although the concept had first been raised in 1918 by the German Industrialist Wilhelm von Siemens.) All countries joining the EEC had to replace their indirect taxes with the VAT. Since then it has swept the world. One of the few countries with no VAT is the USA.

First Pop Songs and Tax

The Beatles’ George Harrison wrote Taxman. His motivation he claimed as "when I first realized that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical."

First Online tax system to allow the Call Centre to view the customer’s screen

SARS Help-you-eFile was the first system to allow a revenue administration/authority’s agent to view the customer’s screen so together they could sort out any problems or queries the customer might have. So a Tax first for South Africa.

SARS Customs First

The Customs Detector Dog unit was also the first in the world to train dogs to detect lion bones, the second in the world to detect fake DVDs and the first in Africa to detect tobacco/cigarettes and cellphones.
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