The History of Tax

history of tax and taxation

The definition of the word "tax" is "I estimate" which is the definition of the Latin word "taxo". The word was used as a term for imposing a fee or levy by estimating an individual's worth and what his contribution should be to the state that was exacting a financial contribution from him. The main consideration that has to be remembered is that the term "tax" has evolved to imply a legal financial levy that is not voluntary but mandatory. A "tax" is then a mandatory levy charged by an entity against an individual or entity with the power to collect if not paid. A tax is not a fee for product or a trade for land or other tangible items. A tax is a fee exacted by a legal entity that assumes a share of a person's assets because that person or entity lives within the jurisdiction of that authority.

Taxation is recorded as having occurred in Egypt during the dynasty of the Old Kingdom from 3000 BC. The pharoah would charge tax revenues from people while touring his kingdom. There are other ancient records of taxation. In Genesis (47:24) Joseph tells the Jewish people living in Egypt that they are to give one fifth of their harvest to pharoah and keep the rest for their own needs. What the people were paying to pharoah was a tax for the right of living and working within the territory that belonged to his kingdom.

In Europe, government tax records are existant from the 17th century. As wars began to drain the national assets, governments in Europe began to exact bigger and bigger fees from their citizens The tax burden due to wars grew in countries like France and England.

We all know how the United States of America declared its independence from the British by dumping tea into Boston Harbor and telling the King of England he couldn't tax them without giving them equal rights as British subjects. 

In the year 2010, The United States of America is again declaring its independence from taxation without representation.  Tea parties are now being given my the people of the United States who refuse to be taxed without equal representation. The key point to remember is that tax was mandatory and not voluntary.  The rights of the state or king to impose a tax remains  The dissenting member of the society that is protected by the state or king can choose to refuse and face the penalties of the state or king.  If the state or king is not protecting the citizens from whom it or he is exacting taxes then the citizens have the right to change the system of their government. 

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