The Income tax reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Income tax

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Income tax is a direct tax which is levied on the income of private individuals. Various income tax systems exist. Those range from a flat tax to an extensive progressive tax system.

Taxes levied on the income of companies is called corporate tax or corporation tax.

Income tax was first introduced in Britain by William Pitt the Younger in his budget of December 1798. The money was intended to help finance the war against France. Pitt's new graduated tax began at a levy of 2d in the pound (0.8333%) on incomes over ã60 and increased up to a maximum of 2s (10%) on incomes of over ã200. Pitt hoped that the new income tax would raise ã10 million but actual receipts for 1799 totalled just over ã6 million.


In order to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War, the United States government issued its first income tax on August 5, 1861 as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872). 

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