The most unusual taxes

Wealth Tax (France)

The French Constitutional Council approved the introduction of a "luxury tax" of 75% on income over 1 million euros. Many rich people immediately changed their citizenship. The famous actor Gerard Depardieu decided that it was cheaper for him to be Russian and received Russian citizenship.

Worst Tax (Pakistan)

The worst tax in history was levied for 21 years by Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), the conqueror of Peshawar (Pakistan). The tax consisted of hundreds of severed human heads a year.

Eunuch Tax (Persia)

According to historians, the Persian emperor Darius III took taxes from eunuchs. Indeed, the form of taxation is predetermined by the needs of the era.

Tax on the Poor in Inca Country (Tahuantinsuyu)

In the Inca state of Tahuantinsuyu, located on the territory of Ancient America at the beginning of the 16th century, tax collectors removed several lice as tribute from the weak and especially poor payers.

Tax on Jewish appearance (Ancient Rome)

In addition to the general tax and tax for the right to use the dwelling, the inhabitants of the Jewish province had to pay for the right to have the dwelling itself. In addition, when entering or entering a large city, persons with Jewish appearance were charged several sesterces.

Air Tax (Byzantium)

In Byzantium, air was taxed. It was believed that the air belongs to everyone and everyone separately. And if small houses do not create a threat of air starvation, then the construction of large mansions largely deprives people of using this natural gift, since large and voluminous residential buildings take in more air. Thus, the owners living in these buildings, as it were, usurp the air, depriving other citizens of the right to use it. The amount of this tax was directly proportional to the size of the building.

Tax on unsolved murder (Germany)

In the medieval era in Germany there was a tax on murders, but it was paid, of course, not by the murderer, but by the head of the community - the Landvogt. The amount of the tax was determined by the number of murders not solved for a specific period (usually six months) in a given community.

Family seal tax (Germany)

In Germany in 1800 it was possible to order a family seal with a bust of Emperor Francis II as a hilt, but an additional tax was charged for this - about 10 marks a year.

Sparrow Tax (Germany)

In the 16th century, a sparrow tax was invented in the German city of Württemberg. It was believed that ringing birds interfere with the population's life. The owner of each house was required to destroy a dozen sparrows, for which he received 6 kreutzers. If the task was not completed, they demanded to pay twice as much to the treasury. The laziest citizens even bought the right amount of dead sparrows from underground merchants.

Bribe Tax (Java)

In the 18th century, the island of Java, which is now part of Indonesia, was colonially dependent on Holland. The metropolis introduced the so-called tax on bribes. Corruption was a popular way of providing livelihoods for the colonial administration. Appointment to any position on this island provided the lucky one with a comfortable life. True, for such an appointment, a person had to pay a substantial amount. For example, a junior trader paid 3, 500 guilders for a post with a salary of 40 guilders a month: as a result, his annual income from various machinations reached 40 thousand guilders. The Governor-General of the island, whose official salary was 700 guilders, did not go to waste either. For a year, the people who occupied this place of bread earned up to 10 million guilders.

Window Tax (Holland, England)

Holland also came up with a unique tax on windows. The more windows there were in the house, the higher the tax was. Three windows were taxed at the average price, but if there were four or five, the tax was levied at double or triple the rate. In Amsterdam, a building has survived, the width of which is barely more than a meter. And the rest of the houses in the land of tulips are extremely narrow. The owners of such buildings had fewer windows and significantly reduced the tax base for this tax. The peculiar architecture of Holland was the reason for the Soviet poet Samuil Marshak to write a few lines of poetry on this subject in the poem "In the Homeland of Burns".

The same tax was introduced in 1695 in England. This led to the fact that many residents of foggy Albion simply bricked up their windows. Interestingly, this tax was canceled only in 1851.

Grind Teeth Tax (Ottoman Empire)

In the Ottoman Empire, a tax was introduced on grinded bureaucratic teeth. Pasha officials did not want to put up with the fact that local residents always feed them low-quality, tough and undercooked food. Reception of such pickles, without any doubt, led to tooth decay and early caries. Therefore, it was decided to force the population to make monthly payments intended to repair the teeth of statesmen.

Blood Tax (Ottoman Empire)

From the second half of the XIV century, the Janissaries (from the Turkish new army) began to form the backbone of the troops of the Ottoman Empire. They were recruited from the peoples conquered by the Turks, who were obliged to pay the so-called “blood tax, ” in other words, to give up boys from their families to be raised by Muslims. From a very young age, they, who did not know their parents, and besides did not have the right to marry, were completely devoted to the Sultan and their duty. Their best friend was the scimitar - a sword that laid the enemy in place, and their family - their comrades in the barracks.

Tax on crimes - vira (Ancient Russia)

At the beginning of the Middle Ages, taxes on crimes were introduced in many European states. The very concept of traditional taxation has been replaced by the so-called “penalty tax”. In fact, it has now become possible to buy off any guilty crime.

So, the old Russian legal collection of the XIV-XV centuries. Russkaya Pravda provided for a system of special taxes for virtually any crime. For example, for the murder of a free person in favor of a prince, a payment called a vira was charged: for example, 40 hryvnias were paid for the murder of a simple free person, 80 hryvnias were paid for the murder of representatives of the princely administration. When the killer was not known, the worm community, on the territory of which the killed was found, paid the wild virus.

Beard tax (Russia)

The beard tax was introduced by Peter I and canceled only in 1722. A special beard badge was also established, which was a metal token, which was issued after paying a special fee for the right to wear a beard. Two inscriptions were engraved on the token: on one side - "The money was taken", on the other - "Beard is an extra burden." The toll was so high that those who wanted to keep their beard had to fork out a lot.

Bath tax (Russia)

According to the Decree of Peter I of 1704, duma people and first-class merchants had to pay 3 rubles from home baths, ordinary nobles, merchants and all sorts of commoners - 1 ruble, peasants - 15 kopecks each. Either pay - or not wash.

Tax on non-working capital (Russia)

At the time of Peter I, capital, refraining from its right to increase in turnover, was considered a parasite who deprived the treasury of its legitimate profit, tenth money, 5% of the turnover tax, and was prosecuted as contraband subject to police seizure. In the first years of the Northern War, a decree was issued, prescribing: "Who will bury the money in the ground, and who will bring the money and take out the money, to the informer one third of that money, and the rest to the sovereign" At the request of the appropriate institutions, all commercial and industrial inhabitants were obliged to declare their belongings, circulating assets, on which the social layout of the tax was going. Denunciation then served as the main agent of state control, and he was greatly revered by the treasury.

Tax on eye color (Bashkiria, 18th century)

In the 18th century, a tax on eye color was introduced in Bashkiria. The darker the eyes of their lucky owner were, the less tax he paid. The fact is that according to the concepts that existed then, the original inhabitant of Bashkiria, whose parents were also indigenous Bashkirs, undoubtedly had to have exclusively black eyes. Therefore, the eyes of the black color were also the lowest-taxed eyes. The payment for them was only 2 altyns. Seven altyns had to be paid for gray eyes. For green and blue - ten and thirteen altyns, respectively. The most difficult life in Bashkiria was for albinos. So, probably, the Bashkirs fought for the purity of marriages.

Tax on rinsing linen (Russia)

At the beginning of the twentieth century, in the Altai Territory, there was a tax on rinsing linen in an ice hole: it was charged 20 kopecks per winter. They also took 2 kopecks for each trip on the water with a yoke.

Cinema tax (Russia)

Taxes were not spared either by the new type of art that appeared at the beginning of the 20th century - cinema. The first Russian full-length motion picture "The Siege of Sevastopol" (1911) was a resounding success not only among ordinary viewers, but also among the highest persons of the imperial house, and, apparently, this prompted the Russian Emperor Nicholas II to ... immediate taxation of cinema.

Bicycle tax (Russia)

In March 1910, by a resolution of the City Duma of Simbirsk, the owner of the bicycle had to pay a tax - 50 kopecks - to the city's income for the right to ride around the city. The person who paid the tax was given a book of rules for cycling. The rules forbade cyclists to ride on sidewalks, gardens and parks, and move around the city in large groups. The owner had to hang a license plate on the bike.

Dust straw tax (England)

In England, during the 20 years of the republic's existence (under O. Cromwell (1599-1658)), up to 200 types of excise taxes were introduced, and all sorts of objects were imposed, such as boxes for butter or even straw dust.

Watch Tax (UK)

The watch tax was introduced in England in 1797. The payers were the owners of the watches. The owner of the watch was obliged to pay 5 shillings to the treasury annually. Canceled in 1798.

Canes Tax (UK)

In the 18th century, a cane tax was introduced in England. The justification for the introduction of the tax was made by the assertion of officials that the cane spoils the road surfaces, rendering them completely unusable.

Hunting Hawk Ownership Tax (UK)

In Great Britain in the early 19th century, a tax was levied on the possession of a hunting hawk.

Tax on bachelors (USSR)

On November 21, 1941, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in order to mobilize additional funds to help mothers with many children, a tax was introduced on bachelors, single and small-family citizens. According to N. Khrushchev, "this is a correct, good law, it benefits our state, contributes to the growth of the country's population." Despite its temporary nature, caused by the purely demographic problems of the USSR in the post-war period, this tax existed until the beginning of the 90s.

It is generally accepted that the tax on bachelors during the Soviet state had no analogues in history and, except for the USSR, was established only in Mongolia. However, this is not quite true.

Throughout history, many countries have tried to regulate the demographic situation through taxes. So, in ancient Sparta, the father of five children was generally exempted from all state duties. In 1758, Maryland (USA) passed a law requiring unmarried men over 25 and childless widowers of the same age to pay a tax of 5 shillings if their property reaches £ 100, and 20 shillings if it reaches £ 300. The convention of revolutionary France imposed a double tax on bachelors. Mussolini in Italy also tried to impose a tribute on childless families and introduced a tax on "unjustified celibacy."

Tipping Tax (US)

In the United States, tipping is treated as ordinary income, and everyone who receives a tip is taxed on it. Waiters, hotel employees, taxi drivers, artists, hairdressers are required to submit a written report on the amount of tips received to the tax department within 10 days after the end of the next month. Employees of small cafes are exempted from the debt to declare income of this kind, where it is not customary to leave a tip in the form of a tip.

Tax discipline has to be observed, since tax authorities regularly check the so-called diaries, in which service workers record the amount of tips on a daily basis. For the absence of such a diary, they are not punished with fines, but they are not exempted from paying tax either. If the taxpayer does not keep a record of the tip, the tax will be calculated by the inspector. In this case, the right to choose the calculation method remains with him. It is based on a certain industry average tip size. To establish the amount of additional income (or "reconstruction", as they say in the United States), the tax inspector also uses the results of conversations with the employee's colleagues and the employer. At the same time, no one guarantees that the amount of income will not be overestimated, but the taxpayer himself bears responsibility for this. It is possible to appeal against an incorrectly calculated tax in court, but almost no one succeeds in winning such a case. The court is firmly on the side of the law and the interests of the state treasury.

Silicone Breast Tax (US)

American porn star Mary Carey ran in the California governor's election, which was won by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and received more than 10 thousand votes, which allowed her to enter the top ten list of 135 candidates. During the election campaign, Mary Carey proposed a tax on silicone breasts to cope with the budget deficit.

Espresso Coffee Tax (USA)

The White House's policy of reducing national taxes leads to the fact that local authorities are forced to "creatively approach" the problem of taxation.

Despite the successes in the economy, some states are forced to introduce the most "ridiculous taxes". Montana introduced a tax on snowmobiling, New Mexico on trout fishing, and Massachusetts on marriage. Now the coffee capital of America - Seattle, which the Americans themselves call "the city that has gone crazy from caffeine", has fallen under the distribution. Here it is proposed to introduce a tax on espresso coffee, which is sold everywhere: at gas stations, in hospitals, in roadside cafes and small specialized coffee shops. Residents say taxing espresso is like taxing the very soul of a city.

The new tax is officially called Initiative 77. It was developed in partnership with the Early Learning and Care Campaign and the Economic Opportunity Institute. According to the plan of the developers, the funds that will replenish the city budget after a 10% increase in the price of espresso should go to finance the problems of preschool education and support children from low-income families.

Tax on smokers (Hungary)

Hungarian smokers a few years ago paid a special tax on the maintenance of fire brigades.

Tax on balloons and hang gliders (Ukraine)

The Mayor's Office of Yalta decided that balloons and hang-gliders, as high-flying vehicles, simply need to be taxed, and the patent of the owner-aeronaut costs 2 times more than that of the owners of cars who earn extra money as a private taxi driver. As the saying goes, "you can see the bird by" ... the tax!

Dust Tax (Armenia)

One more tax has been introduced to all existing taxes in Armenia - on ... dust. “Having discussed the issue of removing excess dust from the courtyards by sanitary-cleaning organizations, the Ministry of Economy decided: the population should pay the cost of removing dust at the rate of 1.91 drams per 1 square meter, ” the official appeal reads.

On this occasion, Armenian newspapers quote the statement of one of the characters in the fairy tale "The Adventures of Cipollino" by Prince Lemon: "Since we introduced a tax on air, you began to breathe less!"

Shadow Tax (Italy)

Since 1993 Venice has levied a shadow tax. Sheds and umbrellas that belong to shops and numerous cafes, the shadow of which falls on the communal property - land, fell under this tax.

Toilet tax (Italy)

Also in Venice in 1999, an additional source of replenishment of the city budget was found: visiting tourists for each visit to a public toilet have to pay a fee of 1, 000 Italian lira. The Venetian pays half the price for entering the restroom - if, of course, he prudently purchased a pass in advance. The pass can be purchased for three years in advance: then the pleasure of visiting public toilets for three years costs only 6 thousand Italian lira. With 10 million visitors annually to Venice, the additional source of income has proven to be significant.

Tourism and flower taxes (Kyrgyzstan)

In accordance with the Tax Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, there are:

- tax on tourists traveling to non-CIS countries;

- tax on citizens who grow flowers in greenhouse conditions and sell them to the population.

Sin Tax (China)

In the summer of 1996, the authorities in the port city of Tianjin introduced a sin tax, which cost violators 1, 000 yuan ($ 120) to cohabit without a marriage certificate.

Prostitution Tax (Holland)

The authorities of the Belgian capital have introduced an annual tax on shop windows, behind which, waiting for customers, prostitutes in the red light district ($ 3, 100 for each window) flaunt. The "sex" tax will bring the budget 4 million francs, allowing additional patrols to be maintained this quarter. The sex workers said they would appeal the decision in court. But going to court will be rather demonstrative. The action was started mainly in order to draw public attention to the gaps in the legislation on prostitution, because of which "moths" often become victims of police brutality.

Gypsum Tax (Austria)

In Austria, skiers are required to pay a special gypsum tax for each descent from the mountain, the funds from which are transferred to Austrian clinics. According to the most conservative estimates, about 150 thousand skiers are injured annually in the Austrian Alps, and about 1 billion schillings a year are spent on treatment.

Ear Tax and Other Unusual Taxes (Tibet)

In 1926, the Dalai Lama imposed an ear tax in Tibet to support his army. Those who lost one ear in battle, then for the first time felt themselves lucky: they were supposed to pay only half the amount.

In general, at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. Tibet was the leader in the most varied and extravagant taxes. Taxpayers had to pay taxes on weddings, on the birth of children, on the right to sing, dance, ring a bell and beat drums. The tired traveler was not even allowed to take a nap on the grass for the night: he had to pay a tax to the owners of the land for the night. In total, 1892 taxes were levied in favor of the state at that time!

Barbecue Tax (Belgium)

The government of the French-speaking region of Belgium - Wallonia, which is home to about 4 million people, approved the introduction of a special tax on barbecue.

The tax is introduced in June 2007. Its size is 20 euros, and the purpose of its introduction, according to local media reports, is to combat climate change. According to experts, during the grilling process, an average of 50 to 100 grams of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. Scientists believe that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of global warming. The authorities of Wallonia intend to monitor compliance with the new tax legislation from the air. A helicopter equipped with a thermal camera capable of detecting heat sources will fly around the region in search of intruders.

Piracy Tax (France, Germany)

French musicians and filmmakers who lose part of their income due to the fact that many prefer to copy their "imperishable creations" rather than buying them in the store will have the opportunity to recover some of the money stolen from them.

In January 2001, the French government introduced a special tax on blank CDs and videotapes, the proceeds of which would be passed on to cultural masters. Taxes will also be imposed on computer hard drives and VCRs.

The French followed the example of the German government, which imposed an "artistic tax" on everyone who bought new computers. The tax on each hard drive at that time was about $ 13 there. In France, the tax on tapes has existed for a long time, since the early 90s. 75% of the proceeds from this item go to payments to singers, actors, etc. The rest of the money is spent on developing new talent.

Representatives of the French electronics industry condemn the "art tax" and threaten to go to court. In their opinion, the government's policy in this area hits the pocket of everyone, including the French, who are not involved in piracy.

Stink and Methane Emissions Tax (New Zealand)

In 2003, New Zealand authorities came up with a proposal to tax farmers on stench and methane emissions. Legislators are confident that methane emissions from cows and other livestock contribute to the greenhouse effect, and are going to fund scientific research on this topic with the money collected through the tax. The stench tax is supposed to add $ 6 million to the coffers, all of which will be spent on reducing pet methane emissions.

About a thousand farmers took part in the protest demonstration, which marched through the streets of the capital, Wellington, right to the doors of parliament. The farmers were accompanied by cows and dogs, one of the cows with a poster "Innocent" around her neck went up the steps of the building, and then an official representative drove up to the entrance on a smoking tractor and handed the parliamentarians a petition signed by 65 thousand farmers.

Farmers call the tax "a tribute to the spoilage of the air" and, of course, are not going to pay. Climate Change Minister Pete Hodgson went to the farmers and said that research should be done in any case - the only question is from what source the money will be found. He warned that if farmers do not submit a funding program to support research, the tax will be imposed. Negotiations between farmers and authorities are ongoing.

Queen's shoe tax (Spain)

In Spain in the Middle Ages, if a single king ascended the throne, a special tax “Queen's shoe” was levied: it went to the royal wedding.

Sun Tax (Spain)

In Spain, on the Balearic Islands, where the popular resorts of Majorca and Ibis are located, in the near future a new sun tax will be introduced for tourists coming on vacation. Thus, the authorities are going to improve the ecological situation on the islands.

When the new legislation comes into force, tourists will pay one euro a day to stay in the hot Balearic sun. The sun tax is expected to generate about $ 70 million annually. This money is supposed to be spent on cleaning the beaches and coastal areas from garbage that tourists like to leave behind.

Peace Tax (Guinea)

The Republic of Guinea still withholds a peace tax. Every year without war, the state estimates it at 700 Belgian francs.

Chopstick Tax (China)

China has announced plans to introduce a 5 percent tax on disposable chopsticks to limit wood consumption and protect the environment. According to the representatives of the Ministry of Finance, about 2 million cubic meters of wood are spent annually on the manufacture of 15 billion pairs of sticks, and this has a detrimental effect on the state of forest areas.

Noise tax (Switzerland)

At the airports of Geneva and Zurich since 1980, every aircraft taking off has been subject to a noise tax.

Air Travel Tax (France)

In November 2005, the French authorities announced a special tax on air travel. Now the cost of plane tickets will increase, because part of the money will be collected as taxes, the proceeds from which, according to the same government, will be used to help developing countries fight deadly diseases: AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, etc. Some European countries have already announced that they are also developing similar projects and are ready to join France in the near future.

US Dollar Tax (Cuba)

In response to tougher US economic sanctions against Cuba, Fidel Castro introduced a 10 percent tax on exchange transactions with US dollars on November 14, 2004. This measure did not affect the euro and other world currencies.

Easy Income Tax (Serbia)

In 2001, the Serbian parliament passed a law introducing a special tax on fortunes made during the rule of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The Serbian authorities plan to take from the owners, the total amount of property and money from which is 45 thousand dollars and more, from 30% to 90% of the accumulated.

The new tax, dubbed the easy income tax, applies to all property that the Serbs have been imprudent to acquire since 1989, when the Milosevic regime was established. Its maximum rate - 90% - threatens the richest, whose fortune exceeds 4.5 million dollars.

Legislators in Serbia, one of the poorest countries in Europe, thus want to return to the state the money stolen by Milosevic and his supporters. According to representatives of the Serbian authorities, under Milosevic there was a system of incentives for political partners, through which huge funds passed. Interior Minister Dusan Mikhailovic said that Milosevic had created a "state mafia" whose incomes exceeded those of the whole of Yugoslavia, and the soldiers were better armed than the army and police.

Gust of Wind Tax (UK)

In 1997, the British Parliament established a lump sum for big business, which was called "Windfall Tax" (the so-called tax on gust of wind). The purpose of the tax is for companies that benefited too much from Thatcher's 1980 privatization to contribute to the state budget an amount equal to 23% of the difference between the value of the property privatized in 1997 and its sale price in 1980. Thus, the British oligarchs shared with the society the wealth that was "blown by the wind" to them.

Natural Disaster Tax (Haiti)

Haiti's dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier introduced a tax on natural disasters. Twice a year, after rains in the spring and autumn, the government collects flood relief donations from Haitians and foreigners living in the country.

Solidarity Tax (Germany)

After the unification of Germany, to overcome the backwardness of the eastern lands, investments in the amount of about 2 trillion were needed. stamps. In order to equalize the level of development of western and eastern lands in 1991, a special solidarity tax (otherwise - “solidarity tax”) was introduced, intended to finance the reunification of the country and amounting to 5.5% of income or corporate tax.

Russian language tax (Estonia)

Former Estonian ambassador to Russia Mart Helme proposed to introduce a tax on the use of the Russian language in the republic. According to the politician, “it is necessary to protect the Estonian language, and the simplest and most reasonable thing is to do it by hitting the pocket. A special tax on the use of the Russian language should be introduced in Estonia. With regard to TV channels, this means an additional payment for every second of showing, which would make Russian-language channels just so expensive that a normal person would refuse to watch them. For printed materials, it would be possible to calculate the tax on the number of printed characters or on the basis of the area of ​​the material in square centimeters ... "