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10 of History’s Most Terrible Taxes

  • January 10, 2019
  • Issac Qureshi
  • Branding, Coaching, Dealmaker, Deals, Development, Issac Qureshi, Leadership, Marketing

Taxes have never been popular, that’s for certain. But, some taxation throughout history has been so terrible, they should be noted. Here are some taxes that went too far.

1. Poll Tax

In 1377, England taxed every individual person instead of their possessions. But, the rich and the poor paid the same amount of taxes. Of course, a revolution resulted, people were executed, and the tax was abolished.

2. The Window Tax?

In 1696, windows were taxed causing many people to brick them in to avoid paying. Abolished in 1851, the ‘blinds’ are still seen in home throughout Britain today.

3. Britain’s Excise Crisis

Parliament controlled the valuation of property taxes. But, the landowners controlled parliament and adjusted their assessments to pay less. Taxation limits were imposed in 1733 ending this circle of madness.

4.Income Tax

The earliest form of income tax came into play in 1799. Repealed and modified over the years, it’s been in place since 1842.

5. There was a knowledge tax?

In 1815, to keep the poor from being able to stay abreast of different taxation attempts, the government imposed a tax so high on newspapers that the poor couldn’t afford to purchase one.

6. The Corn Laws of 1815

It was another way for the wealthy to take advantage of the working class by controlling the duty tax for imports and exports. They were repealed in 1846.

7. And, a tax on matches in 1871?

Luckily, by now, Britain seemed to be learning. The tax was proposed, considered, mocked, and abandoned within a few weeks.

8. The Hut Tax

With India and Africa supporting England’s economy, a tax was imposed on the huts of the poor in 1898 leading to all-out riots and violent uprisings.

9. The Selective Employment Tax

In 1964, Britain started to tax services as well as goods again putting the burden on the poor. It lasted until 1972, when VAT was adopted.

10. Another Poll Tax

Proposed in the late 1980’s, this is just another example of a tax where the poor had to pay as much as the rich. This poll tax, led by Margaret Thatcher, was gone by 1990.