Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
Tell Us About Your Case

For the safety of our community, clients and staff, we have suspended all in-person meeting effective March 17, 2020. All consultation meetings will be via Phone or Zoom Video Conferencing. Please contact us at (925) 484-0888 or email us directly at [email protected] to schedule the consultation.

View Our Practice Areas

The federal income tax hits its 100 year anniversary

A lot of California readers probably don't realize that there was a time in the United States when there was no federal income tax. The first instance of an income tax was during the Civil War when the government needed more revenue to continue fighting. That was a temporary tax that eventually expired, leaving the government to raise funds solely from tariffs from trade and excise taxes, as was the case before the war.

Interestingly enough, the tax debate in the 19th century was much the same as it is today, with advocates for the income tax arguing that use-based taxes (excise taxes) burdened the poor too heavily and that another source of revenue was needed to even the scales.

The first attempt at a non-temporary income tax was a flat tax at a rate of two percent, but that tax was eventually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. 19 years later in 1913 the 16th Amendment was passed, making the federal income tax enshrined in the constitution itself.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was eventually established to help administer the income tax and make sure that everyone paid on time and in the correct amount. 

Then as now, almost as immediately as income tax laws were passed, so too were loopholes encoded into the law. And as is the case today, throughout history there have always been advocates seeing to abolish the federal income tax entirely. However, it is most likely that after 100 years of a pillar of our revenue system, the income tax is here to stay.

Source: New York Times, "Happy Centennial, Federal Income Tax," Bruse Bartlett, Oct. 1, 2013. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Office Locations

Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
323 Ray Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566

Phone: 925-484-0888
Pleasanton Law Office Map

19925 Stevens Creek Blvd
Suite 100
Cupertino, CA 95014

Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Map & Directions

San Francisco
490 Post Street, Suite 508
San Francisco, CA 94102

Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Phone: 415-433-3350
Map & Directions