With April 15th rapidly approaching I was wondering when and how the U.S. Federal Income Tax came into being. Well it turns out that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the one authorizing the Federal Government to levy taxes, was ratified in 1913. Here’s the text:
“Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration”
Prior to this amendment’s passage the Federal Government had levied taxes (ex. the Lincoln Administration during the Civil War) but it was the 16th that laid the foundation for the tax code we all know and love. If you would like to learn more about this topic just follow this link to the Library of Congress’ History of U.S. Income Tax guide. If you’d like to see what the 1913 Form 1040 looked like just click here.