A Brief History on the Unpleasant Subject of Taxes

Taxes are compulsory expropriations levied to support necessary government expenditures. The law is complex, and the government has large budgets to administer it. Tax disputes are expensive and often involve protracted litigation. Hence, most persons consider tax an “unpleasant subject”. However, they are necessary for the public good and to maintain the rule of law in a democratic society.

Historically, taxes had some religious significance, particularly in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. We see this in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence, where the fresco “Rendering of the Tribute Money” depicts the gods approving the Florentine income tax. However, tax is also associated with unpleasant events, such as, wars and revolutions.

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