Facts you didn’t know about tax

For those of you that know me, will know that I do love tax. I realise I might be in the minority here, but, hey, I wouldn’t be an amazing accountant if I didn’t love tax.
And I get that if you’ve just completed your tax return a blog about tax is probably the last thing that you want to read right now.
But, I’m going to shake it up a bit – tell you some interesting things about tax that you might not have known about. I know, crazy or what.
So here goes:
• Less than half of the people in the UK pay income tax. I know, crazy, right? These are made up of people that earn less than the Personal Allowance, which is a lot of people!
• Tax began longer ago than you might have imagined. King John introduced an export tax on wool in 1203, and King Edward I introduced taxes on wine in 1275. But actually, evidence of a tax system began even in Ancient Egypt where cooking oil was taxed
• Income tax was introduced by William Pitt the Younger in 1798 to pay for weapons and armour to prepare for the Napoleonic Wars. Taxes began at 2 pence in the pound
• In 1696, William III introduced a window tax – houses with more than 10 windows had to pay 10 shillings! This led to many homeowners bricking up windows to avoid paying
• In New Mexico, if you reach the ripe old age of 100, then you are allowed to live tax-free, woo hoo!
• One of the astronauts called up last minute for the flight on Apollo 13 forgot to file his taxes. He asked how he could get an extension from space
• In New York, if you buy a bagel that has been cut, then this is classed as prepared food, so an additional sales tax is added onto the price
• Beard taxes have been quite popular throughout the ages. Henry VIII imposed a tax, the better off you were, the more tax you had to pay. It was eventually scrapped, but Queen Elizabeth introduced it again, for anyone with more than two weeks’ growth. Peter the Great also introduced a similar tax in Russia in the 18th century
• The UK tax code is estimated to be about 10 million words long
• A Roman emperor once introduced a tax on urine (no seriously)
• Maine, US has a special tax on blueberries
• There is a different type of pole tax in Texas. So called for the $5 tax on places which host live nude shows and allow alcohol consumption. So you get why it’s called the ‘pole’ tax…
• In 2011, Romania taxed its witches for the first time in order to help them get out of recession. In return, many of them cast spells against the Government
• If you file a tax return in Nevada, the state apparently gives you a free set of playing cards…

So how about that? Told you tax was fun! If you know of any more fun tax facts, then drop me a line on social media and let me know!