25 Strange Tax Laws You Would Probably Have Issues With

Taxes, we love to hate them. They cause more conflict than anything else on Earth. In fact, the majority of wars have been waged over money and taxes. Even conflicts like the American Civil War that are typically taught from a strong ideological standpoint of “right versus wrong” were actually influenced heavily by taxation. Throughout history there has not been a single known civilization that hasn’t taxed its citizens in some way or another. They all required tax. While these days taxes are fairly predictable, in the past there were some strange laws concerning what could and couldn’t be taxed. In Ancient Rome for example, urine was taxed because it was valuable for washing laundry (yes, they used it to wash laundry due to the ammonia in the urine). During the middle ages there were some kings that charged “coward taxes” to knights who didn’t want to fight in battle. It’s not like we’re completely exempt these days though. The IRS offers tax exemptions on ransom money. And it requires thieves to report they’re stolen property (although they can do so as “other income”). It’s a strange world we live in and our tax laws reflect that. These are 25 strange tax laws you would probably have issues with.

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25

In Ancient Rome, slaves would have to pay a tax when they wanted to buy their freedom

In Ancient Rome, slaves would have to pay a tax when they wanted to buy their freedomSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
24

During the Middle Ages, soap was often taxed in Europe. England didn't repeal the soap tax until 1835.

During the Middle Ages, soap was often taxed in Europe. England didn't repeal the soap tax until 1835.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

23

In 1660, England established a tax on fireplaces. People ended up concealing their fireplaces with bricks to avoid paying the tax. This led to obvious health issues and the tax was repealed in 1689.

In 1660, England established a tax on fireplaces. People ended up concealing their fireplaces with bricks to avoid paying the tax. This led to obvious health issues and the tax was repealed in 1689.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

New York City levies a tax against prepared food. This means that sliced bagels are first taxed as food and then as prepared food. It's a double tax.

New York City levies a tax against prepared food. This means that sliced bagels are first taxed as food and then as prepared food. It's a double tax.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

21

In 1885 Canada instituted the Chinese Head Tax, which taxed Chinese immigrants entering the country. In 1923 it was replaced by a law banning Chinese immigration altogether.

In 1885 Canada instituted the Chinese Head Tax, which taxed Chinese immigrants entering the country. In 1923 it was replaced by a law banning Chinese immigration altogether.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia


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