Monday, April 13, 2009

Tax Deadline Approaches: Bring Us Back to 1913

See the original 1913 IRS 1040 form here (only 4 pages total including all forms and instructions, page 1 appears above). Tax rates started at 1% in 1913, and the maxiumum income tax rate was only 6%; the personal deduction was $65,000 for individuals and $87,000 for married couples (in 2008 dollars).

To see how much you would be taxed at the 1913 tax rates, check out the Political Calculations blog.

13 Comments:

At 4/13/2009 8:02 AM, Blogger Braxton Hicks said...

So simple! Even Timothy Geitner could figure this out!

 
At 4/13/2009 8:48 AM, Blogger Colin said...

And less than 50 years later the top rate was 91 percent. Such is the greed of politicians.

 
At 4/13/2009 8:53 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"And less than 50 years later the top rate was 91 percent. Such is the greed of politicians"...

I guess we do get the government we deserve...

 
At 4/13/2009 2:36 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

We should reset all of our laws every decade so that all of this needless complexity could be eliminated. Our government's laws are like a computer thats bloated with spyware and begging for a windows reinstall.

 
At 4/13/2009 3:08 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"We should reset all of our laws every decade so that all of this needless complexity could be eliminated"...

Well ExtremeHobo your comment reminded me of something that has been bugging me for decades...

How come in any tax cut law there is seemingly always a sundown clause?

Yet in the regular federal income tax laws there are apparently none...

I like your ten year idea...

 
At 4/13/2009 4:31 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Ha! Love the metaphor ExtremeHobo.

 
At 4/13/2009 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed! But why reinstall something that will _again_ need to be reinstalled in the future?

To continue the metaphore, if Obama professes change, then don't install the same old thing, i.e. windows. Install something totaly new & better such as Open Source software & the Linux operating system.

Don't repair ... replace!

 
At 4/14/2009 6:59 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Here's another reason to follow ExtremeHobos advice:

From USAToday dated 1/9/2009: New report: Doing taxes takes up 7.6 billion work hours a yearAlso consider this commentary from the Miami Herald: Tax code mustn't be used as weapon

 
At 4/14/2009 8:54 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

But 1, what about all the poor H&R Block employees you'll put on the streets? I would imagine these companies (and the company that makes Turbo Tax) would lobby against any major simplification of the tax code.

 
At 4/14/2009 9:33 AM, Anonymous Mika said...

If we returned to the 1913 tax rates I wonder how many wealthy folks would actually pay MORE than they do now, since they didn't yet have all the loopholes that substantially mitigate how much they actually pay now.

I mean, really . . . do any of you actually believe that anybody pays 91%? Get real.

 
At 4/14/2009 10:34 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Thats very true, a simpler collection of tax laws would actually prevent tax-fraud

 
At 4/14/2009 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be careful what you wish for. For better or ill, Congress has decided that to promote home ownership and charitable giving, home mortage interest, property taxes, and gifts to charities are all deductible. Listen to the home builders, home owners, universities, and charities scream if you try to simplify by eliminating these deductions.

 
At 4/14/2009 11:57 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"Listen to the home builders, home owners, universities, and charities scream if you try to simplify by eliminating these deductions"...

An opera I hope to live long enough to hear with my own ears...

From the March 10 issue of the WSJ: The Charity Revolt - Liberals oppose a tax hike on rich donors"If we returned to the 1913 tax rates I wonder how many wealthy folks would actually pay MORE..."

Here you go mika, you can figure out the 1913 tax amounts yourself...

 

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