Friday, February 8, 2013

Commemorating the 16th Amendment

Sunday, February 3, 2013, marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which authorizes Congress to levy a federal income tax. The Amendment states simply, "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." Efforts to enact a federal tax on income began much earlier, however, with the need to finance the Civil War; the Supreme Court had declared an 1894 federal income tax law unconstitutional in 1895. The 16th Amendment had the effect of reversing that decision.
   We list here links to some of the more history-based resources and articles generated by the anniversary:
The Amendment
Form 1040, 1913
Library of Congress, History of the [U.S.] Income Tax
U.S. House of Representatives Historical Highlights
Our Documents (National Archives)
Revenue Act, 1861
Civil War Bureau of Internal Revenue (Tax History Project)
Wilson-Gorham Tariff Act, 1894
Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co.
   The Case
   Analysis
"Guess What Turned 100 This Weekend?" (Forbes)
"Many Unhappy Returns" (Wall Street Journal)
The Income Tax Arrives (Tax History Museum)
U.S. Federal Income Tax Rates, 1913-2013 (Tax Foundation)
History News Network on the anniversary