Income Tax (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
A charge imposed by government on the annual gains of a person, corporation, or other taxable unit derived through work, business pursuits, investments, property dealings, and other sources determined in accordance with the INTERNAL REVENUE CODE or state law.
Taxes have been called the building block of civilization. In fact, taxes existed in Sumer, the first organized society of record, where their payment carried great religious meaning. Taxes were also a fundamental part of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The religious aspect of taxation in Renaissance Italy is depicted in the Brancacci Chapel, in Florence. The fresco Rendering of the Tribute Money depicts the gods approving the Florentine income tax. In the United States, the federal tax laws are set forth in the Internal Revenue Code and enforced by the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS).
The origin of taxation in the United States can be traced to the time when the colonists were heavily taxed by Great Britain on everything from tea to legal and business documents that were required by the Stamp Tax. The colonists' disdain for this taxation without representation (so-called because the colonies had no voice in the...
(The entire section is 4297 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!