Taxes are paid by everyone. After all, this is how the state is kept. Due to taxes, pensions are paid, treatment is provided, the army is kept. The state has always tried to get the maximum income from its citizens. And enterprising residents came up with more and more new ways to avoid paying taxes. It is not surprising that in the course of a variety of ways to wean money from the population there are also quite unusual. We will tell below about the most unusual taxes in the history of civilization. Some of them, moreover, have significantly influenced the history of their countries.
Tax on toilets.
Such a strange tax was introduced by the Roman emperor Vespesian, who lived in the 70’s at the very beginning of our era. Such a measure did not find support primarily from the son of the ruler, Titus. Then the emperor took the money earned in this way, brought them to the nose of his son and pronounced the legendary phrase: “Money does not smell.” True, Titus replied: “And yet they are from the urine.” In addition, the pampered Romans were accustomed to the marble public toilets of their city and began to pay the state for this. And toilets, like the famous baths, were used not only for direct need, but also for the sake of meeting and conversation.
Tax on sparrows.
The inhabitants of Burtemberg faced a strange tax of their state in the 18th century. The owner of each house was ordered to kill 12 sparrows, for which a payment of 6 kreuzers was supposed to be paid. But if someone wanted to take pity on poor birds and can not provide the required number of carcasses, then he had to pay the state 12 kreutzerov. It is natural that no one wanted to run after the birds, so in the country there was an underground trade of dead sparrows.
Even intangible objects are subject to a tax. An example of this was Venice, which recently, in 1993, introduced a tax on shadow. According to this rule, all institutions, whose shadow from awnings and umbrellas falls on urban land, must pay this. The authorities realized that getting rid of the shadow is difficult, so the tax regularly replenishes the city treasury.
The cowardice tax.
It is embarrassing to be a coward, and sometimes unprofitable! Indeed, in the beginning of the 12th century, a tax on cowardice was introduced in England. According to him, every knight or military liable citizen who did not want to fight for the glory of his king in numerous wars had to pay. At first the amount was small, but probably there were so many willing to pay, and it was so small to fight that King John increased the tax 3 times at once. In addition, the ruler began to take money from the knights, even in peacetime. As a result, the tax so outraged the population that it became one of the reasons for the emergence of the Magna Carta.
Today it is hard to expect that such a tax would be profitable. But there were times when the state counted on these receipts. This happened in England from 1784 to 1811 years. After all, it was in her that every man wore a bowler or a cylinder, regardless of his social status and wealth. Particularly well tax worked among the rich. After all, they had several hats at once, while the poor had one at best. The country began to receive money from scratch, but in the end the tax had to be canceled.
Tax on beards.
This tax is well known to us from history. After all, Peter the Great introduced him to Russia in 1689. The king tried to bring the country closer to Europe, starting with the removal of beards. They differed in several types – boyar, merchant, peasant, etc. A peasant could wear a beard free of charge only in his own village, and at the entrance to the city he had to pay 1 kopeck. The bearded men were even forced to walk in a special uncomfortable zipoon with a standing collar. If such a person appeared in different clothes, then a fine was imposed on him for each violation. The insolent bearded men were even sent to penal servitude for their debts to the state.
The drug tax.
Such a tax to everything else is one of the most senseless.In America there is an organization called Internal Revenue Service, which performs the functions of our tax inspection. This service officially requires that illegal proceeds from the sale of drugs be declared. To do this, even the line # 21 in form 1040 is highlighted. It remains only to find a conscientious dealer who confesses violation of laws only in order to pay the taxes due.
Tax on freedom.
In the world of slavery, such a tax was natural. He appeared in Ancient Rome. There, the free tax (manumission) was paid upon the release of the slave. Sometimes the amount was paid by the owner himself, it was believed that he was rich enough, releasing the slave to freedom. But in most cases the tax was paid by the slave himself. You can imagine the grief of the former slave who paid the master for his release and found out that now he must pay for it also to Rome.
The tax on dissidents.
This tax is a dream of modern politicians. After all, he let the dissenters pay for their opinion. As a result, dissidents either changed their point of view or were simply deprived of their means of subsistence. History created a precedent for such a tax – it was introduced in 1655 by Oliver Cromwell. He, although not an English monarch, but possessed great power in England. Such a tax was imposed against the supporters of the king who threatened the country. Collected money allowed to create a national militia, which protected the country from the militant royalists. But it is not always clear to people where their money is spent.
And from such a tax, there is no way to refuse, any tax-worker dreams of it! After all, everyone will have to pay, regardless of income, age or occupation. Once the English rulers decided that people should pay only because they live in the white world. So there was a tax on life. The inhabitants of England began to pay under this law in the XIV century. As a result, the country experienced a major uprising, which was called Peasants’ Revolt.
The Nobel tax.
If you believe that the Nobel Prize winners who received it for achievements in politics, science and literature, do not pay tax, then you are mistaken. Since 1986, this award has come under the category of cash gifts, the state imposes its corresponding tax. The percentage of payment in each country is different, but this fact is quite remarkable. The exception is made only in the case of granting the entire amount of the charity to the laureate. In this case, he simply does not have this money. The state can also offer assistance to a particular college or school.
Tax on foreigners.
In our time, such a tax is not only not considered strange, but it is also entirely normal. Any foreigner must pay the state the fact of his stay in it. Such taxes have long been no longer fashionable – they existed in different countries until the XX century. So, in Canada until 1923, the tax on the Chinese acted! Why on them? At that time, many former citizens of the Middle Kingdom came to Canada, which resulted in the introduction of a tax that regularly replenished the treasury of the country. As a result, in 1923 the tax was abolished, but not at all because of the care of poor Asians. Just Chinese in the country has become so much that the government wisely decided to completely ban them from entering Canada.
The tax on the pipe.
English rulers liked to invent new types of taxes. Everything that moves and breathes and has already paid money. The population could not look at this without a murmur, hiding the objects of taxes either under the floor, or in the chimney. The state decided to deal with such disgrace by adopting a tax on the hearth in 1660. Now anyone could hide in the chimney, anything. The pipe itself was also taxed. But here the population began to fool – people began to dismantle their pipes and use neighbor’s pipes. It was fashionable to use one common pipe for several rooms. But after a series of major fires in London in the 1680s, the tax was still canceled.
This tax on the use of glasses eventually became an important cultural, architectural and social phenomenon first in England and Scotland, and then throughout the UK in the 17th-18th centuries. As a result, in some buildings of that period windows appeared, laid with bricks. In those days, the production of glass was quite expensive. The few dared to use it for windows and similar purposes. Therefore, the tax on windows with glass, introduced in 1696 by King William III, was essentially a tax on wealth. However, soon the mechanism began to be used more widely, bringing the state to arrive, as well as other usual similar laws. In those days, the richest people used such a tax to isolate themselves from people with middle income. There was a castle or a country house, whose architecture meant the largest number of windows. Sometimes the windows were even built into the load-bearing walls. The famous tax on windows lasted until 1851, another one replaced it, which became the basis of the current city tax. Experts argue that the expression “the theft of daylight” appeared precisely because of this famous law. However, the first phrase that someone had stolen daylight, dates back to 1949. But by the time the window tax was already almost 100, it was canceled, making the hypothesis unlikely. And in France from 1798 to 1926 there was a similar tax introduced by Napoleon. The French paid for not only the windows, but also the doors.
Tax for Denmark.
In 991, the inhabitants of England were forced to pay a land tax to pay a ransom to the Danish Vikings for the opportunity to live in peace. In fact, Denmark has taxed residents of another state. A very unusual form of racketeering! This tax lasted almost 200 years – until 1194. By that time, money had not gone to Denmark for a long time, staying in the country and going to purchase weapons and build fortresses.
It would seem that unusual in such a tax? However, the story says that this tax entailed major events. So, the tax on salt led the Chinese empire to decline, in France it greatly accelerated the development of the French Revolution. The existence of a tax in India caused massive demonstrations, and Mahatma Gandhi also participated in them. Should we be surprised at the indignation of the Hindus, because England set the tax rate at 4000%! He brought the country’s treasury 5% of the total income.
The tax on the clock.
Another interesting tax was introduced by the British in 1797. The state treasury was replenished this time by the owners of the clock. The tax lasted only 1 year, but in the course of it every owner of the clock paid the country 5 shillings.
Tax for the right to ride a bicycle.
In March 1910, the City Council of Simbirsk adopted a decree according to which every owner of a bicycle had to pay 50 copecks to the city treasury. Cyclists but issued a little book, which details the rules of driving. So, it was forbidden to go on sidewalks, parks and gardens, and also to move in large groups around the city. In addition, every owner of the bicycle had to equip his vehicle with a license plate.
Under Peter I, citizens were paid not only for their beards, but also for their eyes. The tax was introduced at the beginning of the XVIII century in Bashkortostan. People paid the state depending on the color of their eyes. So, for the black treasury received 3 altyns, and for the gray ones – already 8.
Tax on gypsum.
There are very many lovers of skiing in the Alps. As a result, 150,000 people each year receive various injuries, and the cost of their treatment exceeds a billion shillings. So they decided in Austria to help their clinics. Now skiers at each descent pay a tax on gypsum, which is transferred to local medical institutions.