History of taxation in the United States

Federal taxes by type

The history of taxation in the United States begins with the colonial protest against British taxation policy in the 1760s, leading to the American Revolution. The independent nation collected taxes on imports ("tariffs"), whiskey, and (for a while) on glass windows. States and localities collected poll taxes on voters and property taxes on land and commercial buildings. In addition, there were the state and federal excise taxes. State and federal inheritance taxes began after 1900, while the states (but not the federal government) began collecting sales taxes in the 1930s. The United States imposed income taxes briefly during the Civil War and the 1890s. In 1913, the 16th Amendment was ratified, however, the United States Constitution Article 1, Section 9 defines a direct tax. The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution did not create a new tax.

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