I know that many of you on the side of the GOP think that the big bad income tax was started by the Democrats and the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, but, in fact and acording to history it was started by the Republicans, that's right, the Republicans where the first ones to set an income tax on every income in the Union. It seems that in 1861 Abraham Lincoln asked the Republican controlled Congress to pass an income tax on American wages, so that he could finance the Civil War. Here's the information on it, I think that everyone on the vine will agree with the source here, it's the Library of Congress.
Compiled by Ellen Terrell
Business Reference Services
If, in the midst of sorting receipts and studying the latest changes in the US income tax laws, you suddenly wonder "What is the origin of this annual ritual in the weeks leading up to April 15th?" here are some places you can go for answers.
The origin of the income tax on individuals is generally cited as the passage of the 16th Amendment, passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913; however, its history actually goes back even further. During the Civil War Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861 which included a tax on personal incomes to help pay war expenses. The tax was repealed ten years later. However, in 1894 Congress enacted a flat rate Federal income tax, which was ruled unconstitutional the following year by the U.S. Supreme Court because it was a direct tax not apportioned according to the population of each state. The 16th amendment, ratified in 1913, removed this objection by allowing the Federal government to tax the income of individuals without regard to the population of each State. For additional information on taxation in the United States, see the section on taxes on the web site of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
"That reminds me, did you file our tax return?"
Wife's comment while watching television show showing man in jail.
from the Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature & Cartoon (Library of Congress)
Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-84088
Left: Letter dated January 3, 1862, from Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase to President Abraham Lincoln recommending George S. Boutwellfor the newly-created post of Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, American Memory Collections.
Further reorganization came in the 1950s, replacing the patronage system with career employees. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 prompted the most comprehensive reorganization and modernization of IRS in nearly half a century and established a Taxpayer Advocate Service as an independent voice inside the agency on behalf of the taxpayer.
April 15th has not always been the filing deadline. March 1st was the date specified by Congress in 1913, after the passage of the 16th amendment. In 1918 Congress pushed the date forward to March 15th, where it remained until the tax overhaul of 1954, when the date was again moved ahead to April 15th. For further information on the choice of April 15th as the filing date see Yahoo! and Fortune "Great questions of our age: Why is tax day April 15?" by Jessica Sung. Fortune, Apr 15, 2002. (Volume 145, Issue 8; page. 64,).
As you can see, it was a Republican President who first ordered an income tax on the American public, however, a few years later it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, but, all of that changed in 1913 when Congress passed the 16th Amendment, since that time we have had an income tax.