24 Jan Tax Facts: 15 Interesting Facts About Taxes You Didn’t Know
Tax law is incredibly complex, which makes for some very interesting, and sometimes very strange, tax trivia. To celebrate the wonderful and sometimes odd world of taxes, here are 15 interesting facts about taxes you didn’t know.
- The Federal Tax Code is approximately 3,800,000 words long, which is around 3 million words longer than The Bible.
- There’s a kind of tax that has earned the nickname the “sin tax.” These “sin taxes” are legally called excise taxes, which are taxes on gambling, alcohol, and tobacco.
- Legendary gangster Al Capone, also known as “Scarface,” is thought to have killed between 300 and 500 people. But when he was finally sent to prison in 1922, it wasn’t for murder, as the government had insufficient evidence that he had murdered anyone. Instead, the Federal government tried and convicted Capone of income tax evasion.
- It’s estimated that around 90% of all Americans who employ babysitters and housekeepers don’t pay the required taxes. (Note: We don’t recommend doing this.)
- Alabama is the only state that has a playing card tax. If you buy a deck of cards in Alabama, you’ll have to pay an extra 10 cents due the state’s playing card tax.
- A number of European Union nations, including Denmark and Ireland, have a cow flatulence tax, which costs cattle owners $18 per cow each year. This unusual tax has a green goal: it was created to reduce greenhouse gases.
- In the US, it can pay to be a whistleblower. Anyone who reports their company for tax evasion to the IRS receives 30% of the amount the IRS collects.
- The most expensive places to buy cigarettes in the United States is New York City. As of 2018, shoppers in NYC must pay $5.85 extra per pack of 20 cigarettes, thanks to state and city excise taxes, with $4.35 going to New York State and $1.50 going to New York City.
- While cryptocurrency has the word “currency” in its name, the IRS doesn’t recognize it as a currency. Instead, they have categorized it as a property and it is taxed similarly to stocks, even when it’s used to make a purchase.
- The cost of one wig can be tax deductible if your doctor recommended you wear one.
- In New Mexico, residents who are 100 or older no longer have to pay any income tax.
- If you’re a United States citizen, you have to file and pay US taxes even if you are living in another country.
- In New York, you don’t have to pay a tax for a whole bagel. However, if your bagel is “prepared,” including if it’s simply cut, you’ll have to pay an extra 8 cents in taxes per bagel.
- The state of Hawaii has a unique tax law that can give residents who have “exceptional trees” a deduction of up to $3,000 for maintenance expenses. What makes a tree exceptional? It can be any tree with “historic or cultural value,” which can be determined by its age, rarity, location, size, endemic status, or even its aesthetic quality.
- While all US taxpayers have to pay federal income taxes, not every state has an income tax. There are seven states that don’t: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.