A Brief History Of Income Taxes : Planet Money Taxes have been around forever. But the income tax? In the U.S., it's relatively recent.

A Brief History Of Income Taxes

When Benjamin Franklin said the only two certainties in life are death and taxes, he wasn't talking about income taxes. America didn't really even have an income tax until 1913. Up until then, the U.S. relied on tariffs to raise revenue.

On today's Indicator, we explore the history of the income tax in the U.S. to find out how and why the government came up with the idea of taxing people's pay.

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