Taxation is a symbol of civilization since it has always been the source of revenue for empires and states since historic times (Samson, 2003, p21). Taxation generally developed as a method of nations giving legitimate protection to their subjects and their properties. The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had taxes that required nations to pay the state for the use of land. In Medieval times, this was modified into a feudal system where nobles collected taxes from citizens in return for protection. This was popular in England.
The UK Parliament imposed property taxation on their colonies in North America in 1634 (Jensen, 1934 p2). After independence in 1776, the Patriots used taxation to build revenue for the nation, influence peoples spending habits and promote justice and fairness in the nation (IRS Website, 2011).
From 1781 – 1789, the Constitution gave the states the right to tax their people. This meant that states had to come up with their own tax regimes and set up local tax jurisdictions for the collection of taxes. The taxes were mainly in the form of tariffs and excise duties. States had the right to set up their own local government systems and the states paid some money to the Federal government in proportion to the volume and population of each state.
Between 1862 and 1872 during the American Civil War, the Federal Government had to take more revenue from the individuals (IRS Website, 2011). This implied that the Federal Government had to supervise the collection of taxes from the local level to the state level to ensure that the war could be funded appropriately to restore the constitution and its various requirements.
From 1913 to present, the 16th Amendment gave Congress the right to oversee the collection of taxes (IRS Website, 2011).