Well folks, the most dreaded day of the year is fast approaching – Tax Day. Some of us are overly prepared by filing in February; some of us are waiting until the last possible time to submit your 2014 tax returns.
To get motivated for that last push, we’ve compiled seven of the most memorable tax-related moments in political history.
1. No Taxation Without Representation!
We’ve come a long way since colonists had to dump hundreds of crates full of tea into the Boston harbor to get the government’s attention about mounting dissatisfaction with taxation policies… right? Here’s one comic’s take on the modern day version of the Tea Party.
2. The First Time a U.S. President Released His Tax Returns
President Richard Nixon was the first United States President to make it commonplace for Presidents to release their tax return. However, Nixon quickly found himself in the middle of scandal – and it wasn’t Watergate. This time is had to do with his tax returns. Nixon claimed he was audited by the IRS and was found clean. However, the IRS found Nixon owed $465,000 in back taxes.
3. Internal Revenue Service Attacks the Tea Party
In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was criticized for targeting conservative political groups applying for tax-exempt status based on their names or political themes. Both liberal and conservative groups were under scrutiny, but organizations affiliated with the Tea Party were targeted more than others.
This controversy led to Congressional and Justice Department investigations. Lois Lerner, who was the Director of the Exempt Organizations Unit within the IRS, apologized on behalf of the IRS and resigned due to the controversy.
4. Read My Lips: No New Taxes!
Fast forward a couple hundred years from the Boston Tea Party, and the Republican National Convention gets this quote from George H.W. Bush during his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
We find this moment pretty memorable in the history of American taxation – and American politics. When you make promises about taxes, you better stick to them. Unfortunately, this promise hurt him during his presidency when he proposed to increase taxes as a way to reduce the national budget deficit. Oops.
6. Schoolhouse Rock: Tax Man Max
For a light-hearted, catchy way to learn about taxes, Schoolhouse Rock introduces Tax Man Max. Max pretty much sums up why we need taxes, what to do in order to prep for Tax Day and to “be kind to your parents at tax time.”
7. The First Soda Tax in the United States
In 2014, the liberal town of Berkeley, California passed the first soda tax in the United States. The measure imposes a tax of one cent per ounce on the distributors of specified sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and sweetened ice teas but excluding milk-based beverages, meal replacement diet drinks, fruit juice, and alcohol.
There are other weird taxes around the country like on blueberries in Maine, cut bagels in New York, candy tax in Illinois and, in New Mexico, you can be tax exempt if you’re over 100 (and not a dependent).
Now get to those receipts! And “Happy” Tax Day from all of us over at I Agree to See.