“Tax Day,” the day when U.S. individual tax returns are due, is usually April 15. This year Americans get until April 17 to file their returns because April 15 falls on a Sunday and April 16 is Emancipation Day in Washington, marking President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862.
Roger L. Beckett
Taxes, of course, are almost as old as human civilization and the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese all engaged in some form of taxation. Taxes were a part of Colonial America from its earliest days, and they were, in part, what eventually caused the Revolutionary War.
The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of the history and background of the U.S. tax system.
1. The Revenue Act of 1861 was the first time this type of tax was levied?
A. Sales tax
B. Estate tax
C. Income tax
D. Property tax
2. In what year did April 15 become “Tax Day”?
3. Prior to the American Revolution, the English Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which imposed taxes on imports of what good(s)?
D. All of the above
4. Which Constitutional Amendment opened the door for a federal income tax?
A. 24th Amendment
B. 16th Amendment
C. 11th Amendment
D. 8th Amendment
5. What politician in Colonial America is most closely associated with the slogan “no taxation without representation”?
A. Massachusetts’ James Otis Jr.
B. New Jersey’s Aaron Burr
C. Massachusetts’ Samuel Adams
D. Maryland’s Samuel Chase
6. The Internal Revenue Service Form 1040, which U.S. taxpayers use to file their annual income tax returns, has been used since what year?
7. Who said “but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes?”
A. Benjamin Franklin
B. James Madison
C. Mark Twain
D. Thomas Jefferson
8. The Current Tax Payment Act of 1943 established what practice?
A. Employer withholding of income taxes
B. Quarterly taxes for self-employed persons
C. Social Security tax payments
D. Tax exemptions for dependents
9. According to the Internal Revenue Service, tax filers last year received an average refund of approximately how much?
10. In 1944, Congress raised the top income tax rate to what percentage?
A. 68 percent
B. 98 percent
C. 75 percent
D. 39 percent
Answers: 1-C, 2-D, 3-D, 4-B, 5-A, 6-C, 7-A, 8-A, 9-D, 10-B
About the Author
Roger L. Beckett is executive director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.