Centennial Anniversary of the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution is approcahing - John R. Dundon II, Enrolled Agent
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Centennial Anniversary of the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution is approcahing

Centennial Anniversary of the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution is approcahing

Most anniversaries are celebrated with joy and jubilation.  But on February 3rd, 2013, I doubt that anyone will be celebrating this anniversary or should I say centennial – after all, it is the  100th anniversary of the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution, the amendment that gave the federal government the right to impose the dreaded income tax and it was ratified on February 3, 1913.

In 1913, the collection of income tax was not intended to be collected from the masses, only from the rich, only those making $20,000 or more.  How much did the average American family make in 1913?  I would suspect that, just as today, it would depend upon where in the country you live. Some resources claim average salaries as low as $750/year and some as high as around $3,000/ yr.  In either case, back in 1913 the average family in the United States was living far, far below the threat of paying income tax.  And that was the intent of the government back then.  The government was very concerned that the ‘little people’ be able to feed their families, pay their bills and save for their retirement.

The Internal Revenue Service now processes more than 145 million tax returns each year. The Internal Revenue Code is now more than 3.4 million words.  If printed 60 lines to a page, it would fill more than 7,500 letter size pages.

So perhaps while we fill out our tax returns this year, we should fill our glass with our favorite drink and ponder what it will take to get back to the intent of the 16th amendment