Return to homeTax Museum: http://www.tax.org/Museum/1861-1865.htm 1245 In
Germany the Rheinfels castle was built by Count Diether V von
Katzenelnbogen to protect the St. Goar tax collectors. It soon
developed into one of the mightiest fortresses in the Middle Rhine
region. His family was responsible for many of the Rhine castles.
1643 The English parliament
first introduced levies on beer and meat to finance its fight
against the Crown.
(Econ, 12/31/11, p.39)
1675 In France taxes imposed by
Louis XIV led to an uprising in Brittany. Protesters wore bonnets
rouges (red wooly hats).
(Econ, 11/30/13, p.50)
1689 Sep 1, Russia began taxing
1694 The history of English
death duties began with the Stamp Act of this year which placed 5s
on probates over 20 pounds.
1712 English Tories introduced
a stamp tax, which taxed newspapers per sheet. Papers were then
published as broadsheets, single sheets with huge pages
(Econ, 6/12/04, p.18)
1765 Aug 25, In protest over
the stamp tax, American colonists sacked and burned the home of
Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson.
1790 Aug. 4, US Treasury
Secretary Alexander Hamilton urged that ten boats for the collection
of revenue be built. This was to stop smuggling, especially of
coffee, which was hampering trade. The Coast Guard was born as the
Revenue Cutter Service. The Coast Guard was empowered to board and
inspect any vessel in US waters and any US boat anywhere in the
(Smith., 8/95, p.25)(HFA, '96, p.36)(SFC,
5/20/96, p.A-16)(AP, 8/4/00)
1798 Jul 14, 1st direct federal
tax in US states took effect on dwellings, land and slaves.
1809 English poet Samuel Taylor
Coleridge published his essay “On the Vulgar Errors Respecting Taxes
(Econ, 5/19/12, p.21)
1846 Aug 14, Henry David
Thoreau was jailed for tax resistance.
1848 Jan 26, Henry David
Thoreau (1817-1862) of Massachusetts presented an essay at the
Concord Lyceum that explained his motives for refusing to pay taxes.
In 1849 it was published as “Resistance to Civil Government."
(ON, 10/09, p.12)
1861 Aug 5, The US federal
government levied an income tax for the first time to finance the
Civil War. It was 3% of incomes over $800 effective from Jan 1. This
was superseded by the Tax Act of July 14, 1862, which took effect as
of January 1, 1862.
1862 Sep 1, A federal tax was
levied on tobacco, especially that grown in Confederate states.
1865-1868 Oppressive taxes levied on cotton
drained some $70 million from the US southern economy.
(WSJ, 7/22/96, p.A15)
1868 Jul 20, The 1st use of tax
stamps on cigarettes.
1871 Jan 26, A US income tax,
established during the Civil War, was repealed.
(MC, 1/26/02)(WSJ, 9/25/02, p.D8)
1879 The California
constitutional convention called for a state Board of Equalization
to standardize the appraisal methods used by independent county
assessors in property tax assessment. In 2017 the agency was
overhauled following allegations that board members may have misused
(SFC, 9/13/00, p.A15)(SFC, 6/21/11, p.D5)(SFC,
1894 Aug 27, The US Congress
passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, providing for a graduated
income tax. It imposed a 2% tax on incomes over $4000. Pres. Grover
Cleveland enacted the tax to cope with the deficit. The Supreme
Court ruled it unconstitutional on May 20, 1895.
1894 In Britain William
Harcourt introduced the estate duty to replace 5 death duties.
1895 May 20, The US income tax
was declared unconstitutional.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, Z1 p.8)
1909 US Federal taxes were
imposed on corporate income.
(http://tinyurl.com/3c45eg)(Econ, 8/4/07, p.61)
1909 Congress proposed the 16th
Amendment to the Constitution, which proposed an income tax. It was
ratified in 1916.
(WSJ, 6/4/03, p.B1)
1909 In Britain Lloyd George’s
People’s Budget raised income taxes and inheritance taxes at the top
to fund basic pensions as well as unemployment and health insurance
(Economist, 10/13/12, SR p.8)
1911 California began
collecting a corporate franchise tax. It was attacked as being
unfair. In 1929 it was overhauled to be based on a company’s income
and was placed under the newly created Franchise Tax Commission. In
1949 the commission’s named was changed to the Franchise Tax Board.
(SFC, 6/21/11, p.D5)
1912 Jul 31, Milton Friedman,
Nobel Prize winning economist (1976), was born. He became the
premier spokesman for the monetarist school of economics. He argued
that changes in money supply precede changes in the overall economic
conditions. He argued that all social welfare programs should be
replaced with a negative income tax. He held that there was a
natural rate of unemployment that depended on the given economic
(HN, 7/31/98)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R20)
1913 Feb 3, The 16th Amendment
to the Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was
ratified. The new income tax laws included an exemption on life
insurance to help widows and orphans.
(AP, 2/3/00)(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.A3)
1913 Feb 25, The 16th Amendment
to the constitution was adopted, setting the legal basis for the
income tax. The amendment, proposed by Congress at the urging of
pres. Taft, established a corporate tax. Churches and other
religious organizations were exempted from federal taxation. Cordell
Hull, author of the Revenue Act of 1913, said: “Of course any kind
of society or corporation that is not doing business for profit and
not acquiring profit would not come within the meaning of the taxing
3/11/98, p.A20)(AH, 4/07, p.31)
1913 Mar 1, The US Federal
income tax filing date took effect. It obliged citizens to file
returns regardless of where they lived. The first Form 1040 was four
pages with all of the instructions on page 4. The filing date was
changed to March 15 in 1918 and again to April 15 in 1955.
10/25/13, p.A12)(Econ, 3/5/15, p.31)
1913 Mar 29, The Reichstag
announced a raise in taxes in order to finance the new military
1913 Oct 3, A 1% US federal
income tax was signed into law by Pres. Wilson. The law spared
interest of any kind, including home-mortgage interest.
1913 Oct 13, The 16th amendment
to the constitution was ratified and the modern income tax came into
being. It lifted the constitutional ban on income taxes. The levy
was 1% of GDP and the highest rate was 7%. An exemption on the first
$20,000 in dividend income was revoked during WW I.
(SFC, 11/2/96, p.D1)(CyCEO, 6/3/97, p.1,8)(WSJ,
3/11/98, p.A20)(WSJ, 9/25/02, p.D8)
1914 The Harrison
Anti-Narcotics Act was put forth but not signed until 1916. It
mandated that transporters, sellers and possessors of narcotics pay
a tax and keep records for the Internal Revenue Service of the
Treasury Dept. This was the first US restriction by taxation act.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.E3)(SSFC, 1/11/15, p.E6)
1916 Pres. Wilson signed the
federal estate tax into law. It was a levy on the transfer of large
fortunes between generations. In 2006 Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro
authored “Death by a Thousand Cuts," a unique portrait of American
politics as viewed through the lens of the death tax repeal saga.
(WSJ, 7/13/00, p.A1)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.25)
1918 The US government began
permitting the full deduction of interest as part of a package to
help companies struggling with the effects of the first world
(Econ, 5/16/15, p.19)(Econ, 2/4/17, p.63)
1920 Jan 8, Massachusetts’ Gov.
Calvin Coolidge stated: "There is a limit to the taxing power of the
state beyond which increased rates produce decreased revenues."
1920 Britain introduced a tax
on motor vehicles and the first tax discs appeared a year later. In
2013 the discs were replaced by an electronic system for paying road
1921 Mar 4, Warren G. Harding
was sworn in as America’s 29th President. By the time Pres. Woodrow
Wilson left office, the top tax rate was 77%.
(HN, 3/4/98)(WSJ, 9/25/02, p.D8)
1932 Feb 2, Al Capone was sent
to prison at Atlanta, Georgia, for "tax evasion."
1932 Pres. Hoover pushed
through a ferocious tax increase to balance the budget and restore
(WSJ, 9/25/02, p.D8)
1933 California began a sales
tax to pay for public schools. This followed the plummet of property
taxes during the Great Depression.
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.A10)(SFC, 6/21/11, p.D5)
1934 May 10, The US Revenue Act
required that anyone filing a federal tax return also complete a
pink form with individual tax information that became public
information. It was repealed in June, 1935.
(WSJ, 4/3/06, p.B1)(http://tinyurl.com/pmac7)
1934 Alabama’s last Confederate
veteran living at the Mountain Creek Confederate Soldiers' Home
died. The hospital, which was converted into apartments for widows,
closed in 1939 and the five women who lived there were moved to
Montgomery. In 2011 residential property taxes, initiated in 1901,
continued to support Confederate Memorial Park.
1935 Jun, A US law that
required a pink tax form of personal tax information under the
Revenue Act of 1934 was repealed.
(WSJ, 4/3/06, p.B1)
1940 Mar 8, In the US it was
tax freedom day, the day by which citizens met their financial
obligations to the government. In 1902 it was Jan 31 and by 1999 it
had shifted to May 10.
(SFEC, 4/18/99, BR p.7)
1947 In Ireland catering
manager Brendan O’Regan set up the first airport duty-free store at
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)(Econ, 10/1/16, SR p.10)
1948 Aug 4, A 5 day southern
filibuster succeeded in maintaining the poll tax.
1950 John W. Nichols
(1914-2008) registered the first oil and gas drilling fund with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, creating a new kind of tax
(WSJ, 8/9/08, p.A12)
1950 Japan enacted the tax
proposals of Carl S. Shoup (d.2000 at 97). Shoup, an economist from
Colombia Univ., had been invited to Japan by Gen. Douglas MacArthur
in 1949 to overhaul the tax system. The value-added tax system (VAT)
eliminated the need for some 80% of the population to file tax
individual tax returns.
(SFC, 4/1/00, p.A26)(Econ, 8/3/13, p.63)
1954 The US Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) restriction led to the prohibition against pastors
endorsing candidates at the risk of losing their churches’ tax
(SFC, 9/9/08, p.A12)
1954 In the US
employer-provided health insurance was made tax-free.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.59)
1955 Richard (d.2004) and Henry
Bloch formed the H&R Block company in Kansas City, Mo. It grew
to become the world’s largest tax preparing firm.
(SFC, 7/22/04, p.B8)(LSA, Spring/06, p.64)
1957 Mexico began allowing
artists to pay taxes with donations of their artwork after muralist
David Alfaro Siqueiros faced jail time for not paying taxes.
(SFC, 7/24/14, p.A4)
1960 Feb 2, The U.S. Senate
approved 24th Amendment calling for a ban on the poll tax.
1960 Allied Capital, a
private-equity firm for business development companies (BDCS), went
public. Such firms were exempt from corporate taxes as long as the
bulk of profits were distributed to shareholders.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.78)
1963 Jul, Interest Equalization
Tax was a domestic tax measure implemented by US President John F.
Kennedy. It was meant to make it less profitable for US investors to
invest abroad by taxing the interest on foreign securities.
1964 Jan 23, The 24th amendment
to the Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections,
1964 Feb 26, Lyndon B. Johnson
signed a tax bill with $11.5 billion in cuts. It was initially
proposed by Pres. Kennedy in Dec, 1962. It slashed the top marginal
income tax rate to 70% in 1965 from 91% in 1963.
(WSJ, 5/30/96, p.A14)(HN, 2/26/98)(WSJ, 12/12/03,
1966 The Beatles wrote “Taxman"
to protest at Harold Wilson’s exorbitant “supertax" rates.
(Econ, 1/28/17, p.55)
1969 Dec 30, Pres. Nixon signed
the Tax Reform Act of 1969. The US Congress had enacted legislation
that created a minimum tax (later known as the Alternative Minimum
Tax, AMT) after the IRS revealed that about 155 high-income
households had paid no tax in 1966. It was part of the Tax Reform
Act of 1969 and became operative in 1970. The AMT was designed to
make sure everyone pays some tax.
1969 Herbert Stein (1916-1999)
told the story of the Kennedy-Johnson tax cut in his book: "The
Fiscal Revolution in America."
1969 Henry L. Beach, a retired
dry cleaner and one-time member of the Silver Shirts, a
Nazi-inspired organization that was established in the US, founded
his anti-tax Posse Comitatus movement. The Posse Comitatus received
widespread media attention in 1983 when a former member of the
group, Gordon Kahl, was involved in a violent standoff with law
enforcement officers in North Dakota and Arkansas.
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.A4)(Wired, 8/96,
1971 Mar 14, The Rolling Stones
left England for France to escape taxes.
1971 Aug 15, Pres. Nixon
suspended conversion of dollars to gold and imposed a 90-day price,
wage and rents freeze and 10% import charge. He also cut various
taxes and expenditures. This marked the end of the gold standard and
fixed exchange rates. The Bretton Woods agreement, that defined the
post World War II economic environment, collapsed under the weight
of US deficit spending. In the wake of this exchange rates were
allowed to float under the watchful eye of central bankers.
(WUD, 1994, p. 1688)(WSJ, 5/28/96, p. R-44)(WSJ,
8/15/96, p.A12)(AP, 8/15/97)(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A16)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
1975 The US earned income tax
credit (EITC) began as a means of encouraging the poor into the
(Econ, 11/10/12, p.24)
1978 Jun 6, California voters
overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13, the Jarvis-Gann amendment, a
primary ballot initiative calling for major cuts in property taxes.
It cut property taxes by 57%. It limited the taxing abilities of
local governments and many city services were reduced as a result.
Key fiscal responsibilities were shifted from counties to the state.
Proposition 13 capped the increase in a home's taxable value at 2
percent a year until it is sold. It also limits a homeowners
property tax to 1 percent of market value.
(AP, 6/6/97)(SFEC, 2/22/98, Z1 p.3)(SFC,
12/27/99, p.A10)(AP, 7/3/05)
1980 Pakistan made the payment
of zakat, 2.5 percent religious tax, to the government mandatory for
Sunni Muslims under the military dictator Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, one of a
variety of actions he took in an attempt to make the state more
1981 Aug 13, In a ceremony at
his California ranch, President Reagan signed a historic package of
tax and budget reductions, also known as the Kemp-Roth tax cuts.
Abstinence-only sex education programs were introduced under Pres.
Reagan. Sponsors Rep. Jack Kemp and Sen. William Roth, had hoped for
more significant tax cuts, but settled on this bill after a great
debate in Congress. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of
1981 included a rider known as the Adolescent Family Life Act
(AFLA), sponsored by Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah) and
Jeremiah Denton (Alabama). AFLA set aside a small but significant
amount of federal money to be used for the promotion of abstinence,
as well as religious instruction in sexual matters within the public
schools. In the first four years following implementation of the tax
reform act annual revenues were reduced by almost 2% of GDP.
8/13/01)(Econ, 11/19/16, p.66)
1981 French Pres. Mitterand
introduced a tax on great wealth (impot sur les grandes fortunes).
It was abolished in 1986 under PM Jacques Chirac and reintroduced in
1988 under the name impot de solidarite sur la fortune (ISF) and
applied to total assets greater than $850,000.
(Econ, 7/16/05, p.45)
1982 The US Congress doubled
the federal excise tax on cigarettes to 16 cents per pack.
(WSJ, 1/27/04, p.D12)
1983 The US Reagan
administration slapped an extra 45% tariff on imports of motorcycles
in response to a petition from Harley-Davidson.
(Econ, 3/4/17, p.60)
1986 Sep 27, The US Senate
joined House of Reps voting for "sweeping tax reforms."
1986 Oct 22, President Reagan
signed into law the US Tax Reform Act, also known as the Tax Reform
Act of 1985. It flattened rates, simplified rules and removed
countless loopholes. It closed a loophole which had helped wealthy
families shield assets by designating inheritance past a generation.
The top marginal rate was cut from 50% to 28%. The tax law made it
possible to slice up mortgage-backed securities. In the five years
following the Tax Reform Act of 1986, 5,400 changes were made in the
10/22/06)(Econ, 6/19/04, p.15)(Econ, 8/4/07, p.61)(Econ, 1/8/11,
p.84)(Econ, 9/24/11, p.84)
1986 In the US the top 1% of
taxpayers were responsible for 25.4% of all income taxes paid this
year. In 2005 their share rose to 38.4%.
(Econ, 4/4/09, SR p.14)
1986 Carolyn Webber and Aaron
Wildavsky authored "History of Taxation and Expenditure in the
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R47)
1987 California Gov. George
Deukmejian (1928-2018) presided over a $1 billion state tax rebate.
(SFC, 5/9/18, p.A10)
1988 Britain set its top income
tax rate at 40%.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.13)
1988 Canada reformed its tax
system flattening the rate structure and cutting top rates.
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.84)
1989 Apr 1, A Japanese 3%
consumption, or sales tax, took effect. It earned Sadanori Yamanaka
(d.2004) the nickname "Mr. Consumption Tax." In 1997 it rose
to 5%. Yamanaka led the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's tax
commission for eight years, beginning in 1979.
(AP, 2/20/04)(Econ, 6/16/12, p.43)
1989 British PM Margaret
Thatcher's government introduces the hugely unpopular poll tax in
Scotland a year before England. The tax was abolished across Britain
1991 Sweden cancelled its
financial transactions tax (FTT).
(Econ, 3/16/13, p.20)
1992 Norway introduced a carbon
tax in an effort to fight global warming.
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.22)
1992 Norway dramatically cut
top tax rates on both labor and capital income, from a 58% top
income tax rate to 28%.
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.84)
1993 Oct 1, The US federal tax
on gasoline was raised to 18.3 cents per gallon.
1993 Charles Adams authored
"For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R47)
1993 Rhode Island repealed its
nautical taxes and became something of a nautical tax haven.
(SFC, 7/24/10, p.A6)
1994 Jan 1, The California tax
on gasoline was raised to 18 cents per gallon.
1994 Dec 15, President Clinton,
in a 12-minute prime-time address, presented a package of tax cuts
for middle-income families raising children, and outlined deep
reductions in government programs to help pay for them.
1994 The "nanny tax" was
simplified on the 1040 income tax form and required reporting wages
of household employees in excess of $1,100.
(SFEC, 4/5/98, p.A3)
1994 Estonia became the 1st
European country to introduce a flat tax (26%) on personal and
corporate income. Latvia and Lithuania soon followed suit.
(Econ, 3/5/05, p.54)
1995 In Germany a federal
property tax was ruled unconstitutional.
(Economist, 9/8/12, p.50)
1997 Apr, Japan raised its
national consumption tax from 3% to 5%. It was later seen as a move
that wrecked economic confidence and sparked the beginning of a
(WSJ, 8/13/98, p.A14)(Econ, 7/22/06, p.67)
1998 Jul 22, President Clinton,
with Republican lawmakers at his side, signed a bill designed to
mold the Internal Revenue Service into a friendlier, fairer tax
1999 Aug 3, Congressional
Republicans, shrugging off a presidential veto threat, nailed down
the details of an agreement for a ten-year, $792 billion tax cut.
1999 The California state Board
of Equalization adopted a policy to tax cell phones at full retail
price even if purchased at a discount under a bundled plan.
(SFC, 11/8/11, p.A10)
2000 Jul 18, Shrugging off a
veto threat from President Clinton, the Senate voted 61-to-38 in
favor of eliminating the so-called "marriage penalty" by cutting
taxes for virtually every married couple.
2000 Jul 26, In Russia a tax
reform bill was passed that scrapped the graduated income tax in
favor of a 13% flat tax.
(SFC, 7/27/00, p.A10)
2001 Aug 30, It was reported
that some 40,000 tax forms were destroyed or concealed at a
Pittsburgh processing center run by Mellon Bank.
(WSJ, 8/30/01, p.A1)
2001 Sep 4, President Bush
opened the door to a future cut in the capital gains tax, but said
he first wanted to see the effects of the previous spring's income
2002 Stephen R. Weisman
authored “The Great Tax Wars," a survey of the US income tax since
(WSJ, 9/25/02, p.D8)
2003 Dec 13, William Roth Jr.
(82), former Delaware Senator, died. He was 1st elected to Congress
in 1966 and served 5 terms as a senator. He helped created the
popular Roth retirement account and the Kemp-Roth tax cuts. His
wrote the book "The Power to Destroy" (1999), a look at the IRS.
(SFC, 12/15/03, p.A2)(WSJ, 12/15/03, p.A1)
2004 May 17, The Alabama
Legislature approved a 26 cent increase for a pack of cigarettes.
This increased the tax from 16.5 cents to 42.5 cents.
(USAT, 5/18/04, p.17A)
2004 Sep 23, The US Congress
voted to extend 3 tax cuts aimed at the middle class along with a
bevy of business tax breaks.
(SFC, 9/24/04, p.A3)
2004 Oct 4, Pres. Bush signed
an extension of middle-class tax cuts.
(WSJ, 10/5/04, p.A1)
2004 Richard Yancey authored
"Confessions of a Tax Collector.
(WSJ, 3/2/04, p.D4)
2004 China’s national tax
revenue of $318 billion came mostly from business taxes. The average
Chinese paid $16 in income tax. Authorities in 90 Chinese cities
turned some sales receipts into lottery tickets to encourage
customers to demand trackable invoices.
(WSJ, 3/31/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 29, New York’s top
court ruled that an out-of-state programmer must pay state taxes on
his full salary despite working mostly via computer.
(WSJ, 3/30/05, p.A1)
2005 Charles Rossotti, former
IRS commissioner (1997-2002), authored “Many Unhappy Returns: One
Man’s Quest to Turn Around The Most Unpopular Organization in
America," wherein he says that the IRS “picks on the little guy"
while “largely overlooking an ocean of money hidden in business
(SSFC, 4/10/05, p.C6)
2005 Spain adopted the
so-called “Beckham law," a preferential tax status to foreigners.
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.85)
2005 Sweden eliminated its
(Economist, 10/13/12, SR p.20)
2006 The US government ended
tax incentives for American firms manufacturing in Puerto Rico.
(Econ, 10/26/13, p.18)
2006 In Italy the tax
collection agency, Equitalia, was formed to take over tax collection
operations previously carried out by reluctant banks and their
(Econ, 1/7/12, p.45)
2007 Nov 7, Prosecutors said 2
mid-level DC government employees used phony paperwork to collect
more than $16 million from illegal tax refunds, avoiding detection
for at least three years while issuing more than 40 checks cashed by
friends and family members in on the scam. The total stolen was
later raised to some $30 million. Harriet Walters, the alleged
ringleader of the scam, authorized checks to such fake companies as
Bilkemor LLC. In 2008 Walters (51) pleaded guilty to stealing some
$48 million. 9 others pleaded guilty in the scam. Walters faced
15-18 years in prison and was ordered to pay restitution.
p.36)(http://tinyurl.com/2o7sj5)(WSJ, 9/17/08, p.A19)
2007 Maltese company Nude
Estates bought the Ausra shopping center in Utena, Lithuania. In
2017 it was revealed that U2 frontman Bono had used Nude Estates to
buy a share in the shopping mall. U2 was heavily criticized in 2006
for moving its corporate base from Ireland to the Netherlands, where
royalties on music incur virtually no tax.
2007 Myanmar slashed real
estate taxes to 15% from 50%. Drug traffickers seized the
opportunity to convert their cash to real estate.
(SSFC, 6/7/15, p.A17)
2007 Sweden eliminated its
(Economist, 10/13/12, SR p.20)
2008 Jan 14, The trial of US
film actor Wesley Snipes began regarding unpaid taxes from
1999-2004. During this period he earned $38 million and paid no
taxes under advice from 2 tax professionals, who cited section 861
of the federal tax code.
(SFC, 1/14/08, p.A2)
2008 Nov 12, US prosecutors
charged Raoul Weil, a senior executive of Swiss bank UBS AG, of
helping some 20,000 rich clients evade federal income taxes on
assets of some $20 billion from 2002-2007. In 2014 a federal court
in Florida acquitted Mr. Weil.
(WSJ, 11/13/08, p.A1)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.76)
2008 Sweden eliminated its
taxes on residential property.
(Economist, 10/13/12, SR p.20)
2009 Feb 2, Tom Daschle,
President Barack Obama's choice to head the Health and Human
Services Department, apologized to the Senate panel that will decide
his fate, saying he was "deeply embarrassed and disappointed" about
failing to pay more than $120,000 in taxes.
2009 Feb 21, President Barack
Obama ordered the US Treasury to implement tax cuts for 95 percent
of Americans, fulfilling a campaign pledge he hopes will help jolt
the economy out of recession.
2009 Mar 6, The IRS said it
would not renew its expiring contracts with two private debt
collection agencies. An in-house tax collection program was cited as
(WSJ, 3/7/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 26, The US Internal
Revenue Service announced new steps aimed at getting taxpayers
hiding money in offshore accounts to pay up, promising not to file
criminal charges for those who voluntarily fess up to hiding money
2009 May 4, President Barack
Obama proposed changing provisions in the tax code that he says
encourage US companies to move jobs overseas, as part of a broader
package aimed at saving $210 billion over 10 years.
2009 Jun 15, Georgia’s Supreme
Court ordered Expedia Inc. and its Hotwire.com subsidiary to collect
and pay hotel occupancy taxes to the west Georgia city of Columbus
in a possible precedent for cities across the country.
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.C1)
2009 Jul 21, Oakland, Ca.,
residents overwhelmingly voted to approve a first-of-its kind tax on
medical marijuana sold at the city's four cannabis dispensaries.
2009 Oct 13, The Missouri Dept.
of Revenue sent letters to 140 yoga and Pilates telling them they
must collect sales tax on fees for their classes and services.
(SFC, 11/5/09, p.A8)
2010 Jan 12, A web site linked
to leading Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported that Poland's tax
office has levied a fine of 2.3 million zlotys ($820,000) on an
unemployed woman for failing to pay tax on income worth at least
13.7 million zlotys she said she had earned as a prostitute.
2010 Jan 26, Oregon voters
approved Measures 66 and 67 endorsing higher taxes on businesses and
the rich amid the current economic slump.
(SFC, 1/28/10, p.A8)
2010 Feb 19, The German Tax
Union said about 2,500 people in Germany have confessed to tax
evasion to avoid punishment amid a heated debate over whether
authorities should buy stolen data from Swiss bank accounts.
2010 Mar 18, The final version
of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 (FATCA) became
law as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE)
Act. FATCA was due to take effect in 2014.
p.71)(Econ, 10/12/13, p.38)
2010 Mar 26, Germany and
Switzerland said they have reached a preliminary deal on an
agreement to exchange information on suspected tax cheats, an
important step toward defusing a long-festering irritant in their
2010 May 18, Arizona voters
approved a 1% sales tax increase.
2010 Jun 15, The Swiss
parliament approved a treaty with the US that will hand thousands of
files on suspected tax cheats to US authorities, but obstacles
remain that could delay the deal for several more months.
2010 Sep 4, British tax
collectors said a new computer system has revealed that almost 6
million people have paid the wrong amount of income tax, and 1.4
million will be told to repay an average of 1,500 pounds ($2,300)
2010 Oct 19, Two employees of
the US Virgin Islands' tax bureau were accused of leading a scheme
that pilfered as much as $500,000 from the government using
fraudulent tax refund checks. Tax bureau employees Tiffanne Sutton
and Colette Hacket-Browne and others had allegedly taken part in tax
fraud since 2006.
2010 Nov, Ronald L. Brekke of
California was arrested for helping nearly 1,000 people falsely
claim millions of dollars in tax refunds. He had earned over
$400,000 since February 2009. Brekke had told his victims the US
Treasury would pay out tax refunds equal to their personal debt, a
deception known as "1099 OID" fraud, after the form used to claim
the refund. The scam started to fall apart after two
co-conspirators, both Canadians, tried to cash refund checks worth
more than $350,000 each at a bank in Bellingham, Wash. In 2012
Brekke was convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud.
2010 Dec 15, New statistics
showed that the IRS has increased the number of returns it audited
by nearly 11 percent this year. Wealthy taxpayers and big businesses
were most likely to be targeted.
2010 Dec 18, Germany’s weekly
Der Spiegel reported that local tax authorities recovered 1.6
billion euros this year from citizens who had stashed their cash in
secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
2010 Dec 21, US tax authorities
announced that Deutsche Bank has admitted criminal wrongdoing and
agreed to pay more than $550 million in connection with its
participation in tax shelters from 1996-2002 that enabled the rich
to temporarily avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in US
2011 Jan 3, Ed Miliband,
Britain’s Labor leader, warned that the VAT rise from 17.5% to 20%
will cost families £7.50 from January 4, and put 250,000 jobs at
2011 Jan 4, The Internal
Revenue Service kicked off the US tax filing season, announcing that
taxpayers will have until April 18, 2011 to file their 2010 returns
and pay their tax bills because of a holiday on April 15.
2011 Jan 5, Federal prosecutors
said IRS agent Albert Bront (51) pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to
filing false tax returns for himself and two innocent relatives. The
false tax form claims included bogus alimony and mortgage
2011 Jan 6, In the Netherlands
the daily Het Parool reported that prostitutes in Amsterdam will be
required to pay taxes this year. Over 3,000 sex workers were
affected by the move.
(SFC, 1/7/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 6, Romanian witches
angry about having to pay income taxes for the first time hurled
poisonous mandrake into the Danube River to cast spells on the
president and government.
2011 Jan 13, The US Treasury
said it is launching a pilot program to deliver income tax refunds
on debit cards for low- and moderate-income people who do not have
traditional bank accounts.
2011 Jan 13, Gov. Pat Quinn
signed legislation that temporarily raises Illinois income taxes by
two-thirds, risking a political backlash against Democrats but
gaining money to help drag state government out of the deepest
budget hole in its history.
2011 Jan 19, India’s Supreme
Court asked the government to release more details on how rich
Indians stash money abroad to evade taxes.
(Econ, 1/22/11, p.51)
2011 Jan 27, Australia imposed
a temporary new tax to help fund a multi-billion-dollar rebuilding
program after floods devastated infrastructure and ruined thousands
of homes and businesses across the eastern seaboard over the past
2011 Jan 28, China introduced
its first home-ownership tax in the cities of Chongqing, .4%-.6% of
the property’s value, and Shanghai, .5$-1.2%.
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.52)
2011 Mar 3, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and his indebted government said they are abandoning
a tax ceiling for big earners, once hailed as key to modernizing
France and luring investors.
2011 Mar 11, Amazon.com
notified its Illinois partners that it will stop doing business with
them on April 15 because of a new state law requiring the online
store to collect sales taxes.
(SFC, 3/12/11, p.D2)
2011 Mar 30, It was reported
that GE has calculated a corporate tax bill for 2010 that adds up to
zero, in spite of robust profits of $14.2 billion worldwide, via a
creative series of tax referrals and revenue shifts. This was,
indeed, the second year running that the company—which has an
enormous, and famously nimble, 975-employee tax division, led by
former Treasury official John Samuels—paid nothing in US taxes.
2011 Jun 27, Kenya's PM Raila
Odinga paid more than $37,000 in back taxes to abide by a new
constitution that requires lawmakers to pay taxes on their hefty
allowances. Kenya's Revenue Authority last week said lawmakers'
properties will be auctioned if they don't each pay nearly $21,000
in back taxes.
2011 Jun, New York Gov. Andrew
Cuomo brought in a cap on property taxes.
(Econ, 1/28/12, p.28)
2011 Sep 19, President Barack
Obama laid out a $3 trillion plan to cut US deficits by raising
taxes on the rich, but Republicans mocked it as a political stunt,
signaling the proposal has little chance of becoming law.
2011 Sep 23, California Gov.
Jerry Brown signed compromise legislation under which Amazon.com
drops its attempt to overturn by referendum an online sales tax in
return for the state agreeing to postpone collections until next
September. Amazon said it will create 10,000 full-time jobs in the
state and invest $500 million in a variety of facilities.
(SFC, 9/27/11, p.D1)
2011 Oct 1, Denmark imposed a
“fat tax" on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy
(SFC, 10/3/11, p.A2)
2011 Oct 6, Britain and
Switzerland signed an agreement to tax money kept by British
residents in secret Swiss bank accounts, a move which could net the
British government billions of pounds and help Swiss banking clean
up its image. The deal, which must still be approved by the
parliaments of both countries, should come into force in 2013.
2011 Nov 16, In Washington DC a
band of millionaires stormed Capitol Hill to urge Congress to tax
2011 Nov 21, US Congress'
super-committee conceded ignominious defeat in its quest to conquer
a government debt that stands at a staggering $15 trillion, unable
to overcome deep and enduring political divisions over taxes and
2011 Dec 12, The Illinois House
approved a package of tax relief for families and businesses,
including big names like Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange,
that threatened to leave the state. When fully phased in the cuts
will cost state government some $320 million per year.
(SFC, 12/13/11, p.A11)
2011 Dec 22, US House Speaker
John Boehner announced that Republicans have decided to accept a
short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, preventing a hike in
taxes just nine days before the tax break expires for 160 million
2011 Dec 30, Spain’s new PM
Mariano Rajoy announced tax rises on income, savings and property.
The top tax rate will jump 7 points to 52%.
(Econ, 1/7/12, p.44)
2011 Nicholas Shaxson authored
“Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax
(Econ, 2/11/12, p.62)
2012 Jan 8, Britain’s PM David
Cameron said he would veto a European-wide financial transaction tax
unless it was imposed globally, deepening a confrontation with
European Union heavyweights France and Germany. Cameron also
suggested that legislation to curb excessive executive pay,
including giving shareholders new voting powers, could be set out in
2012 Feb 2, The US Justice
Department said it has indicted Wegelin, the oldest Swiss private
bank, on charges that it enabled wealthy Americans to evade taxes on
at least $1.2 billion hidden in offshore bank accounts.
2012 Feb 17, The US Congress
approved legislation renewing a payroll tax cut for 160 million
workers and jobless benefits for millions more, backing the main
items on President Barack Obama's jobs agenda in a rare burst of
2012 Apr 11, A global tax group
added its voice to protests against an Indian plan to retroactively
tax business deals, saying it could deter foreign investment in
Asia's third-largest economy. New Delhi's planned change to the
Income Tax Act announced in last month's budget would be retroactive
to 1962 and would oblige domestic and foreign firms alike to pay tax
on any transaction involving an Indian asset.
2012 Apr 20, Switzerland said
it has revised a tax pact agreed with Britain last year and will
offer it a higher rate of withholding tax, after Germany earlier
this month succeeded in obtaining more favorable terms in a similar
deal with the Swiss government.
2012 Aug 17, In Greece a local
crowd on the island of Hydra attacked tax police after they detained
a restaurant owner who did not provide receipts to clients. Riot
police arrived the next day and the owner was transported to Athens
by coast guard ship.
2012 Dec 16, French actor
Gerard Depardieu said in an open letter that he is turning in his
passport following his move to tax-friendly Belgium after PM
Jean-Marc Ayrault called Depardieu pathetic and unpatriotic.
(SFC, 12/17/12, p.A2)
2012 Bruce Bartlett authored
“The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform – Why we need It and What It
(Econ, 2/4/12, p.86)
2012 Kansas cut its income
(SSFC, 6/7/15, p.A6)
2012 PWC auditor Antoine
Deltour passed 28,000 pages of documents to Edouard Perrin, a French
journalist, exposing tax deals between Luxembourg and 340 corporate
clients in what came to be known as the “LuxLeaks" affair.
2013 Feb 21, Britain’s HM
Revenue and Customs published the names of what it described as "tax
cheats" for the first time, part of efforts to address public anger
over tax evasion at a time of economic austerity.
2013 Mar 16, In Cyprus anxious
depositors drained cash from ATMs after European officials ruled
that part of a new 10-billion-euro bailout must be paid for directly
from the bank accounts of ordinary savers. An emergency deal in
Brussels set a one-time levy of 9.9% on Cypriot bank deposits of
more than 100,000 euros. Deposits under that would be taxed at
(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.A3)
2013 Mar 20, Chancellor George
Osborne said Britain will raise the personal tax allowance to 10,000
pounds in 2014-15, a year earlier than expected.
2013 Mar, France’s highest
legal authority said no individual tax should exceed 66.6%.
(Econ, 4/16/13, p.60)
2013 May 15, US Attorney
General Eric Holder promised angry lawmakers that the Justice
Department will undertake a national investigation into the IRS
wrongdoing. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew forced out Steven Miller,
the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. A Treasury
Department Inspector General's report had detailed how the IRS in
2010 had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny when they
applied for tax-exempt status.
2013 Jun 7, Vodafone Group Plc
said it paid no corporation tax in Britain for the year to March
2013, prompting fresh criticism from campaigners who have made the
UK mobile telephone group a target in the debate on corporate tax
2013 Jun 15, Britain clinched a
deal with its major offshore tax havens on Saturday that will see 10
British overseas territories and crown dependencies sign up to
international protocols on information sharing. Those included were
Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar,
Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and
the Isle of Man.
2013 Jun 18, In Northern
Ireland a G-8 initiative reflected widespread anger over the ability
of foreign companies to funnel profits to tax-friendly countries. As
part of the G-8's plans, to be developed at a G-20 summit later this
year, multinationals would be obliged to declare how much tax they
pay in each country where they operate.
2013 Jun 19, In Italy a Milan
court convicted the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of
tax evasion. They were found guilty of failing to declare 200
million euros ($268 million) through a Luxembourg company to
authorities and given a one year and eight months suspended jail
sentence. They were also ordered to pay a penalty of 500,000 euros
(about $670,000) to tax authorities.
2013 Jul 16, Rashia Wilson (27)
of Tampa, Florida, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for tax
fraud. She and eager associates had claimed bogus tax refunds of
over $11 million.
2013 Sep 6, G20 leaders meeting
in Russia committed to crack down on cross-border companies that use
tax havens. They also agreed on a plan to share information on
individual taxpayers by the end of 2015.
2013 Oct 1, Japan’s PM Shinzo
Abe declared that he would raise the copnsumption tax in Arpil from
5% to 8%.
(Econ, 10/5/13, p.43)
2013 Oct 2, H. Ty Warner (69),
billionaire creator of the Beanie Babies, pleaded guilty to a tax
evasion charge in a Chicago court.
(SFC, 10/3/13, p.A6)
2013 Oct 18, The Netherlands
Supreme Court said municipalities are entitled to to tax dog
ownership because they have to pick up the bill for keeping public
parks and streets clean.
(SFC, 10/18/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 25, French President
Francois Hollande said he will stick to a government tax plan to
impose a super-levy on soccer players' salaries despite the threat
of the nation's pro clubs to scrap games one weekend next month.
2013 Oct 31, In Greece
thousands of protesters clogged Athens to demonstrate against a new
property tax. The anger was registered across society, with
retirees, disabled groups, shipyard workers and high school teachers
among those taking part.
2013 Nov 7, The IRS said is
issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax returns last year to people
using stolen identities. 655 went to a single address in Lithuania,
343 to a lone adress in Shanghai. Miami topped city destinations in
(SFC, 11/8/13, p.A7)
2013 Nov 29, The US Department
of Treasury said in a statement that the Cayman Islands, a British
territory, will share tax information about US account holders with
the US Internal Revenue Service.
2013 Dec 21, Greece's coalition
government pushed through parliament a new property tax required
under the country's international bailout obligations, but saw its
majority dwindle in the process.
2013 Dec 23, Nearly half
Pakistan's lawmakers reported they paid no taxes, according to a
study released today, findings that may endanger billions of dollars
in IMF and other loans and aid that shore up a faltering economy.
2013 Dec 29, France's
Constitutional Council gave the green light on to a 'millionaire's
tax', to be levied on companies that pay salaries of more than 1
million euros ($1.38 million) a year.
2014 Jan 14, A Chicago federal
court sentenced H. Ty Warner (69), the billionaire businessman
behind Beanie Babies, to two years probation for not paying taxes on
$25 million he had hidden.
(SFC, 1/15/14, p.A4)
2014 Feb 14, Louis Willis, the
former director of the US Virgin Islands' Internal Revenue Bureau,
turned himself in under charges of tax evasion.
2014 Mar 10, Colorado said
marijuana sales brought in $3.5 million in tax revenues and fees in
the first month retail pot outlets were allowed.
2014 Mar 10, In Germany Bayern
Munich president Uli Hoeness admitted to evading millions of euros
(dollars) in taxes through an undeclared Swiss bank account at a
trial that could send the German football great to prison.
2014 Apr 1, Japan raised its
sales tax to 8% from 5%, moving to stabilize government finances and
reduce soaring debt, but at the risk of undermining a shaky economic
2014 Apr 8, In France Manuel
Valls used his first speech to parliament as prime minister to
announce corporation tax cuts and outline public spending savings.
2014 Apr 10, An Israeli
official said Israel would stop the tax money transfers in
retaliation for the Palestinians pushing to sign up for more
recognition from international agencies and treaties. Israel
collects about $100 million a month in taxes for the Palestinians.
2014 May 6, Austrian Finance
Minister Michael Spindelegger said a group of 11 European Union
countries have agreed to introduce a financial transaction tax from
2014 Jun 20, European Union
finance ministers in Luxembourg agreed on a reform to close a
loophole that allowed companies to shift some of their profits
between different country divisions to avoid taxation.
2014 Nov 27, Argentina's tax
agency charged British bank HSBC with helping more than 4,000
Argentines to commit tax evasion by stashing money in secret Swiss
2014 Dec 3, Britain’s Treasury
chief George Osborne unveiled plans to crack down on multinational
tax avoiders as he sought to deflect criticism for failing to meet
his budget targets.
2014 Dec 10, The International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists named Disney and Koch
Industries, an energy and chemical conglomerate, as among 35 big
companies it said had been seeking secret tax deals in Luxembourg.
2014 Dec 10, A group of Gambian
diplomats were jailed after being found guilty of running a huge
tax-dodging tobacco operation out of the Gambian embassy in London.
Yusupha Bojang (54), was identified as the ringleader of the
operation, ordering half-a-million packets of tax-free rolling
tobacco over three years and selling it out of the west London
2014 Dec 11, The head of
Hungary's tax authority sued a senior American diplomat in Budapest
for libel after the envoy said the US had knowledge of corruption at
the tax office.
2014 Dec 31, In France a 50
percent tax paid by employers on income earned above one million
euros ($1.22 million) ended today. Socialist President Francois
Hollande's 75% super tax had been rejected by a court and re-written
2015 Jan 1, In the Bahamas a
new 7.5 percent tax value-added went into effect only for businesses
whose profits exceed $100,000 a year.
2015 Feb 12, Greece reported
that tax revenues slumped 23 percent below target in January as
citizens held off on paying taxes before a snap election, marking a
setback for the new left-wing government as it seeks a deal with
European partners to avert a financial crisis.
2015 Feb 25, The South African
government raised taxes and scaled back spending plans in its annual
budget as it wrestled with stalling growth, rising debt, power
blackouts and rampant unemployment.
2015 Mar 3, Australia and
Switzerland signed an accord in Canberra aimed at cracking down on
2015 Mar 12, US government
investigator Timothy Camus said fake tax agents have targeted more
than 366,000 people with harassing phone calls demanding payments
and threatening jail time as part of a huge nationwide scam that
partly involves call centers in India.
2015 Mar 26, Brazil’s Federal
Police said they had uncovered "criminal organizations" suspected of
causing a shortfall of at least 6 billion reais ($1.9 billion) in
unpaid taxes. More than 50 companies in the industrial, financial
and agricultural sectors were being investigated for allegedly
bribing officials at the Finance Ministry's tax appeals court to
reduce annual fines on unpaid taxes.
2015 Apr 28, The US National
Football League (NFL) said it has decided to give up its tax-exempt
status under section 501(c)6 of the IRS code.
(SFC, 4/29/15, p.C1)
2015 May 18, The US Supreme
Court struck down as unconstitutional a Maryland tax that has the
effect of double-taxing income residents earn in other states.
2015 May 29, Puerto Rico's Gov.
Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed into law a tax bill that is expected
to provide the commonwealth with about $1.2 billion in much-needed
additional tax revenue for the next fiscal year.
2015 Jun 10, The Vatican
formally committed to share tax information of US citizens with the
(SFC, 6/11/15, p.A2)
2015 Jul 23, In Belgium the
center-right government of PM Charles Michel pushed through a tax
shift to lighten the cost of labor for businesses and offset it with
taxes on energy, alcohol and tobacco. After all-night negotiations
that stretched into today, the Michel government announced it would
balance the budget by 2018.
2015 Aug 7, It was reported
that Thailand’s new Inheritance Tax Act 2015 has gone into effect
and that it will start collecting inheritance tax for the first time
2015 Sep 7, China said it would
remove personal income tax on dividends for shareholders who hold
stocks for more than a year.
2015 Oct 1, The Polish
government was reported to have organized the nation's first
shopping receipt lottery aimed at boosting budget income from sales
taxes. Deputy Finance Minister Izabela Leszczyna said the lottery is
intended to encourage shoppers to ask for receipts from sellers,
leading to less evasion on sales tax.
2015 Oct 6, The European
Union's 28 finance ministers agreed to share details of tax deals
their countries reach with big multinational companies. The rule
would be enacted across the 28 member states by the start of 2017.
2015 Oct 21, The European Union
demanded that Starbucks and Fiat repay up to 30 million euros ($34
million) each in back taxes.
2015 Oct 16, Irwin Schiff (87),
America’s loudest tax protester, died. Schiff had stopped paying his
federal income taxes from 1974 on the chief ground that it was
unconstitutional. His books included the New York Times bestseller
“How Anyone Can Stop Paying Income Taxes" (1982).
(Econ, 10/31/15, p.86)
2015 Dec 30, Italian
prosecutors said Apple has agreed to pay Italy about $350 million in
taxes for years 2008-2013.
(SFC, 12/31/15, p.A5)
2016 Jan 22, Technology giant
Google said it will pay Â£130 million ($185.4 million, 172 million
euros) in back taxes to Britain following a government inquiry into
its tax arrangements.
2016 Feb 8, France's former
budget minister Jerome Cahuzac (63), who stashed millions abroad
while cracking down on tax cheats at home, went on trial for tax
fraud and money laundering.
2016 Apr 7, The EU's executive
said European Union states should agree on a common list of tax
havens in the next semester and impose sanctions on countries that
hide EU-taxable revenues in the wake of the Panama leaks.
2016 Apr 10, British PM David
Cameron took the unusual step of publishing his tax records to try
to end days of questions about his personal wealth raised by the
mention of his late father's offshore fund in the Panama Papers.
2016 Apr 13, Puerto Rico said
it is publishing for the first time a list of delinquent taxpayers
in hopes of recovering a portion of government-owed revenue amid a
worsening economic crisis. The list represents those who owe more
than $50,000 worth of sales tax.
2016 May 1, China extended its
value-added tax (VAT) from the sale mainly of goods to all major
service sectors, including construction and finance.
(Econ, 5/7/16, p.38)
2016 May 11, Indian officials
announced plans to close a tax loophole that allows its citizens to
channel income through the tropical island of Mauritius and avoid
2016 May 27, The European Union
said it is launching an effort to contain the so-called "grey
economy" of undeclared and untaxed work. Under its new plan, the EU
will seek to exchange best practices to combat undeclared work among
the 28 member states and boost common projects.
2016 Jun 29, In Luxembourg two
whistleblowers in the "LuxLeaks" tax scandal were given suspended
jail sentences for leaking thousands of documents that exposed
Luxembourg's huge tax breaks for major international companies.
Former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael
Halet received 12-month and nine-month sentences respectively while
journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted of all charges. In March
2017 the sentence for Antoine Deltour (31) was reduced to six months
suspended with a 1,500-euro fine. Raphael Halet (40) received a
1,000-euro fine instead of a nine-month prison sentence.
(AFP, 6/29/16)(AFP, 3/15/17)
2016 Jul 6, In Spain a
Barcelona court sentenced soccer star Lionel Messi and his father to
21 months in prison for tax fraud, with both sentences likely to be
2016 Jul, Indonesia began a tax
amnesty program. It ended on March 31, 2017, after more than 8,000
tax evaders declared some 4,700 trillion rupiah ($350 billion) in
assets previously hidden from authorities.
(Econ, 4/1/17, p.68)
2016 Aug 1, Indonesian
President Joko Widodo urged citizens to take part in the country's
new tax amnesty and pledged his government will "go all out" to keep
the law behind it from potentially getting blocked in court.
2016 Aug 12, Democratic White
House candidate Hillary Clinton released her 2015 tax return and
criticized her Republican rival Donald Trump for bucking a
long-standing tradition by failing to do the same.
2016 Aug 30, The EU ordered
Apple to pay a record 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland,
saying deals allowing the US tech giant to pay almost no tax were
illegal. Apple derided the ruling. Ireland’s tax collection agency,
the Revenue Commissioners, insisted that Apple hasn’t dodged a penny
of lawfully calculated tax in Ireland.
(AFP, 8/30/16)(AP, 8/30/16)
2016 Sep 1, Tim Cook, Apple's
chief executive, said his company has put aside "several billion
dollars" to pay tax liabilities in the United States as it
repatriates some of its huge overseas earnings. Apple held nearly
$215 billion in cash and securities outside the US, much of that
generated by its Irish subsidiaries.
2016 Dec 25, China's largely
rubber-stamp parliament passed a law that will levy specific
environmental protection taxes on industry for the first time from
2018, as part of a renewed focus on fighting the country's pollution
woes. A law that levies taxes on pollution ignored carbon dioxide,
one of the major contributors to global warming.
(Reuters, 12/25/16)(AFP, 12/26/16)
2017 Mar, India slipped a new
rule into the annual budget bill that frees taxmen to raid or seize
any property at any time with no need to explain why.
(Econ, 4/8/17, p.34)
2017 Apr 26, The Trump
administration released a plan for massive business and personal tax
cuts, but only vague indications of how to pay for them.
(SFC, 4/27/17, p.A1)
2017 May 12, Lawyers for
President Donald Trump said that a review of his last 10 years of
tax returns did not reflect "any income of any type from Russian
sources," but their letter included exceptions related to previously
cited income generated from a beauty pageant and sale of a Florida
2017 May 29, Egypt announced a
$2.49 billion package of income tax discounts, bonuses for state
employees, increased pension payments and cash subsidies for lower
and middle income Egyptians to cope with soaring inflation.
2017 Jun 11, In Saudi Arabia
the price of a pack of cigarettes doubled for smokers under
first-time tax measures to help the kingdom cope with a drop in oil
revenues. The cost of energy drinks also doubled and the price of
soft drinks rose 50 percent.
2017 Jul 1, India launched its
biggest ever fiscal reform with the government promising that a new
nationwide tax would make the economy stronger and less corrupt. The
new goods and services tax (GST) replaces more than a dozen levies
imposed nationally and by the 29 states.
2017 Aug 16, Cambodian tax
authorities denied there is a political motive for a crackdown on
delinquent taxpayers that prominently targets media and civil
society organizations critical of the government.
2017 Aug 21, The United Arab
Emirates approved a new law that imposes taxes on tobacco products,
energy drinks and soft drinks to boost revenue and help offset the
impact of lower oil prices. Tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed
at 100 percent and soft drinks at 50 percent.
2017 Sep 27, The Trump
administration outlined its new tax plan, which included a sharp
reduction in the taxation of business income, elimination of the
estate tax and eliminating the alternative minimum tax.
(SFC, 9/28/17, p.A4)
2017 Oct 4, The European Union
ordered Amazon to pay $295 million in back taxes to Luxembourg, in
its latest attempt to tighten the screws on multinationals it says
are avoiding taxes through sweetheart deals with individual EU
2017 Nov 2, US Republican
lawmakers unveiled a sweeping rewrite of the tax code, outlining a
$1.5 trillion plan to cut taxes for corporations. The plan reduced
the cap on interest rate deductions for home mortgages from $1
million to $500,000.
(SFC, 11/3/17, p.A1)
2017 Nov 6, The EU denounced as
"shocking" revelations on the way top companies and dignitaries,
including Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, avoid taxes using offshore
2017 Nov 6, US Commerce
Secretary Wilbur Ross denied wrongdoing over business ties to a
shipping firm linked to Vladimir Putin's inner circle, detailed in a
vast leak of financial documents that also revealed Britain's Queen
Elizabeth II's investments in tax havens. The findings emerged as
part of the Paradise Papers released by the US-based International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which was behind the
Panama Papers made public last year.
2017 Nov 7, The EU pushed for
Europe to draw up a blacklist of tax havens after the "Paradise
Papers" revealed loopholes used by Apple and Nike as well as
celebrities including Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.
2017 Nov 8, Romania's leftist
government approved an unpopular measure that means workers will pay
social welfare taxes currently paid by employers.
2017 Nov 9, In Germany a Swiss
man (Daniel M.) was given a 22-month suspended prison sentence for
spying on German tax officials between July 2011 and February 2015.
2017 Dec 1, A GOP tax bill,
known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," was approved by 51 Republican
senators. The 479-page bill received no hearings and major changes
were being made earlier the same day. An analysis by the Joint
Committee on Taxation found that growth fueled by the bill’s tax
cuts would be minimal and that the bill would add $1 trillion to the
federal deficit over the next decade.
(SFC, 12/2/17, p.A7)
2018 Jan 23, European Union
finance ministers agreed to remove eight jurisdictions from the
bloc's blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up.
Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the
United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted
following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU
2018 Feb 27, Israel suspended
tax measures and other actions that led to the rare closure of the
church built at what is seen as the holiest site in Christianity,
shut down all week in protest.
2018 Mar 7, The EU’s executive
branch pointed the finger at Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland,
Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands for "aggressive" tax policies
designed to undercut others to attract multinational companies.
2018 Mar 21, The EU unveiled
proposals for a digital tax that targets US tech giants, heaping
more problems on Facebook after revelations over misused data of 50
million users shocked the world.
2018 Jun 14, In France
thousands of retirees protested across the country over a tax hike
on their pensions. The tax hike has been in effect since January and
has impacted some eight million retirees.
2018 Jun 15, A legal source
said Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to pay the
Spanish taxman 18.8 million euro ($20 million) to settle a tax fraud
2018 Jun 21, Australia's Senate
passed personal income tax cuts worth 144 billion Australian dollars
($106 billion) over a decade. The tax cuts for most of Australia's
workforce were a centerpiece of PM Malcolm Turnbull's annual budget
plans revealed in May.
2018 Jun 28, Spain's Tax Office
included Rodrigo Rato, former IMF head (2004 to 2007), on its list
of individuals and companies that owe over a million euros in taxes.
Rato was found guilty in 2017 of unlawful misappropriation of funds
during his 2010-12 leadership of Bankia, a Spanish bank that later
had to be bailed out by the state.
2018 Jul 1, In Uganda a new tax
on social media took effect, angering many who see the revenue
measure as an attack on free speech.
2018 Jul 18, Pennsylvania's
highest court upheld Philadelphia's tax on soda and other sweetened
(SFC, 7/18/18, p.A4)
2018 Oct 3, China's official
Xinhua News Agency reported that tax authorities have ordered
"X-Men" star Fan Bingbing and companies she represents to pay taxes
and penalties totaling $130 million, ending speculation over the
fate of one of the country's highest-profile entertainers three
months after she disappeared from public view.
2018 Nov 6, Voters in Mt. View,
California, the home town of Google, backed Measure P, which
implements a per-employee business license tax that ranges from $5
to $150 per worker, rising with the size of the company.
(SFC, 11/9/18, p.D2)
2018 Dec 1, Sri Lanka slashed a
tax on sugary drinks in a controversial reversal of an anti-diabetes
policy that attracted immediate criticism. Health campaigners and a
former minister condemned the move as damaging the fight against
obesity and diabetes among young people.
2018 Dec 10, Puerto Rico's
governor signed a bill to overhaul the US territory's tax laws in a
bid to help workers and some business owners amid a 12-year
2018 Dec 21, In Romania
visiting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz suggested that foreign
companies could pull out of Romania after the government unveiled a
surprise plan to levy extra taxes on banks and energy companies.
2019 Jan 1, France ditched a
system whereby residents file income tax returns based on the
previous year's earnings, replacing it with a system where the state
deducts the taxes directly from people's salaries or pensions each
2019 Feb 5, Apple said it has
reached an agreement with French authorities over 10 years of back
taxes, confirming information published by the French magazine
L'Express. The magazine reported that the firm paid nearly 500
million euros ($570 million) to resolve the case in a confidential
settlement reached in December.
2019 Feb 7, The council of
Scotland's capital Edinburgh said it will become the first British
city to introduce a tourist tax to try to better manage the impact
of swelling visitor numbers and booming hotel occupancy. The idea
needs a final sign-off by Scotland's devolved parliament.
2019 Feb 27, The Palestinian
Authority said it will not accept tax revenues from Israel following
the latter's decision to deduct sums Palestinians pay to prisoners
and people killed in fighting with Israel.
2019 Mar 12, European Union
governments adopted a broadened blacklist of tax havens, adding the
United Arab Emirates and British and Dutch overseas territories in a
revamp that tripled the number of listed jurisdictions. The new list
added Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, Barbados, Belize, the British
overseas territory of Bermuda, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the
United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Dominica. The EU blacklist
originally comprised 17 jurisdictions, including the UAE, but shrank
to five after most listed states committed to change their tax
2019 Apr 3, Massachusetts Rep.
Richard Neal, head of the tax-writing House Ways and Means
Committee, asked the IRS to provide six years of Pres. Trump's
personal tax returns by April 10.
(SFC, 4/4/19, p.A6)
2019 Apr 23, A White House
official said Pres. Donald Trump would not comply with a deadline
set by House Democrats to release his tax returns to Congress. The
Treasury Dept. missed the first deadline and Treasury Sec. Steve
Mnuchin said he needed more time to study the lawfulness of the
(SFC, 4/24/19, p.A6)
2019 Apr 25, French President
Emmanuel Macron promised a new round of tax cuts worth 5.0 billion
euros ($5.5 billion) as part of a raft of measures in answer to five
months of anti-government street protests over the high cost of
2019 May 5, President Donald
Trump announced a surprise threat to raise import taxes. Trump said
he would raise import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese products to
25% from 10% as of May 10. Trump also threatened to slap tariffs on
another $325 billion in Chinese imports, covering everything China
ships annually to the United States.
2019 Jul 26, In Thailand new
legislation published in the Royal Gazette exempted King Maha
Vajiralongkorn from tax on some of his land property. The Thai king
has been listed as the world's richest monarch. Business Insider
estimated his personal wealth at more than $30 billion in 2018.
2019 Aug 1, Poland scrapped its
personal income tax for young employees earning less than $22,000 a
year, as part of a drive to reverse a brain drain and demographic
decline that's dimming the prospects of a country that is otherwise
experiencing strong economic growth.
2019 Aug 2, Zambia said it will
delay implementing a new sales tax until January 2020 to allow for
further refinement of the law.
2019 Aug 21, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel's government agreed to exempt most taxpayers from the
solidarity tax that was introduced after the county's reunification.
2019 Aug 22, The Palestinian
Authority said it has reached an agreement with Israel to restore
some of the much-needed tax funds withheld by Israel in recent
2019 Aug 26, It was reported
that French and US negotiators have reached a compromise agreement
on France's digital tax, a levy which prompted US President Donald
Trump to threaten a separate tax on French wine imports.
2019 Sep 17, The Dutch
government said it plans to reform a business tax rule that allows
wealthy multinationals to reduce the amount of tax they pay on their
2019 Sep 19, A US federal judge
blocked California from enforcing its new law that would require
Pres. Trump and other candidates for president and governor to
release their tax returns to qualify for the state's primary ballot.
(SFC, 9/20/19, p.A1)
2019 Sep 25, A federal judge
put Manhattan prosecutors' request for eight years of President
Donald Trump's tax returns on hold until at least the next day,
ordering the prosecutors and Trump's lawyers to try to negotiate a
temporary agreement on how to handle the request.
2019 Sep 27, The French
government said it has pledged to cut taxes for households next year
to the tune of 9 billion euros ($9.8 billion), a spending boost that
has its roots in the yellow vest movement that broke out last
2019 Oct 7, US District Court
Judge Victor Marrero ordered President Donald Trump to turn over
eight years of his tax returns to New York state prosecutors.
2019 Oct 9, The US Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) issued its first set official ruling and its
first guidance of any kind since 1914 on cryptocurrency taxes.
(SFC, 10/10/19, p.D1)
2019 Nov 4, A US appeals court
ruled that Pres. Donald Trump's longtime accounting firm must hand
over eight years of his tax returns to New York prosecutors. The
office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance agreed not to
enforce the subpoena while Trump petitions the Supreme Court.
2019 Nov 18, The Czech
government approved a 7% digital tax proposal aimed at boosting
state coffers by taxing advertising by global internet giants like
Google and Facebook. The proposed tax must still make it past
lawmakers in parliament.
2019 Dec 3, A US appeals court
handed President Donald Trump another defeat in his bid to keep his
financial records secret, directing Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One
Financial Corp to comply with subpoenas from congressional Democrats
demanding the material.
2020 Jan 22, French finance
minister Bruno Le Maire said France and the United States have
brokered a truce in their bilateral row over digital taxation but
still have to hammer out how talks for a global deal should proceed.
2020 Feb 18, A study by the Tax
Justice Network said British overseas territory the Cayman Islands,
the United States and Switzerland do most to help the globe's
richest citizens hide and launder money.
2020 Mar 18, The US federal
government gave taxpayers an extra 90 days to pay their federal
taxes and announced that it won't pursue foreclosures of evictions
on government guaranteed mortgages for at least 60 days.
(SFC, 3/19/20, p.C1)
2020 Mar 20, Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin said the US government is moving its tax filing day
from April 15 to July 15, amid the coronavirus crisis afflicting the