04/17/2017

104 Year Of The Income Tax: Then And Now

Americans for Tax Reform

As Americans finish yet another tax filing season, let’s take a look at the 104-year history of the income tax:

  • In 1913 the top marginal income tax bracket was 7% -- today it is 39.6%.
     
  • In 1913 the marginal income tax bracket range was 1% - 7%. Today the range is 10% - 39.6%.
     
  • In 1913 there were 400 pages in the tax code. Today there are 74,608 pages in the code.
     
  • In 1913 the family standard deduction was $98,425.45 in today’s dollars. The family standard deduction now is just $12,600.
     
  • When the income tax started in 1913, only 358,000 Americans had to file a 1040. Today 148,606,578 Americans file 1040s.

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For [early immigrants] America was truly the land of opportunity. For the first time in their lives, many were truly free to pursue their own objectives. That freedom released the human energies which created the United States. There were few government programs to turn to and nobody expected them. But also there were few rules and regulations. There were no licenses, no permits, no red tape to restrict them. They found, in fact, a free market, and most of them thrived on it. 

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