I used to ask my Economics students this question every semester. It was fun listening to their guesses (they were kidnapped, they fled the country, etc).
The answer is that 1987 was the first year the IRS required that parents supply social security numbers for dependents they claimed on their taxes. For years people were claiming their cats, dogs, fish, and other fake people.
Happy Tax Day!!!!
If you feel as though you paid too much in taxes, on the bright side, some people would love to have that problem!!!
In honor of tax day, here are a few random TAX FACTS.
1. The IRS has a “crime stoppers division”. If someone reports their company for tax evasion in the U.S., he or she will receive 30% of the amount collected.
2. Wealthier Americans pay higher taxes than middle- or lower-income earners. The wealthiest 1% of the population earns 19% of income but pays 37% of the income tax. The top 10% pays 68% of the tab. The bottom 50% earns 13% of the income, but pays just 3% of the taxes. This does not include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.
3. In 2010, General Electric made over $4 billion in U.S. profits. It paid $0 in taxes.
4. The United Sates has what is called a progressive tax system, which means that the more money a person makes, the more he or she pays in income tax.
5. Roman emperor Vespasian placed a tax on urine in the 1st century A.D. Urine at that time was collected and used as a source of ammonia for tanning hides and laundering garments.
6. Russian Emperor Peter the Great placed a tax on beards in 1705. He hoped that the tax would encourage men to have a clean-shaven look that was popular in Western Europe.
7. In Texas, cowboy boots are exempt from sales tax. Hiking books are not.
Finally, there are lots of businesses around town that feel sorry that you have to pay taxes. Many of these business are offering free goods and services! Here are a few in the Houston area!
Houston on the Cheap! This list will be updated as more freebies & deals are announced.
Boston Market — The food retailer is offering Buy One Individual Meal, Get a Second Individual Meal Freein honor of Tax Day. This offer is for dine-in and carry-out purchases. Valid April 15 only. No coupon is required. Limit 3 BOGOS per person.
Carmike Cinemas — Popcorn bucket owners can get free popcorn refills April 15 at Carmike Cinemas. Valid for Tax Day only, April 15.
Clay’s Restaurant — Snag a 1040 Special at Clay’s April 15: Get a Clay’s Cheeseburger, fries + tea or soda for $10.40. Print or display on mobile to get this deal. Located at 17717 Clay Road.
Great American Cookies — Folks can get a free regular Sugar Cookie at Great American Cookies April 15, thanks to its Tax Day promotion. No purchase is necessary — or proof of taxes filed! Nine locations in Houston.
Hard Rock Café — Houstonians can earn a free Legendary Burger from Hard Rock Café just by “singing for their supper.” Folks simply select their favorite song and perform it live on the restaurant stage. The promotion is April 15, 7 pm – 9 pm pm. It also will extend Happy Hour till 9 pm with drink specials for all: $3 domestic drafts, $4 house wines and well drinks, and $5 house margaritas. Located downtown at 501 Texas.
HydroMassage — Get a free massage at participating HydroMassage locations across the United States April 13-17, 2015. One location is participating in Houston this year: Planet Fitness, 10701 Jones Road. No call ahead is needed there. Just print out this coupon for this free deal.
Kona Ice Houston — Enjoy a cup of free tropical shaved ice from Kona Ice Houston April 15 for its National Chill Out Day promotion. Visit the Kona truck located outside Frost Bank, 2443 Westheimer between 2 pm – 4 pm April 15. This is just one example of how Kona Ice is encouraging folks to Flavor Our World and give back.
Schlotzsky’s — On April 15 only, get a free small Original sandwich with purchase of a 32 oz. drink and chips. No coupon required.
Sonic —Sonic Drive-In is offering half-price Cheeseburgers all day April 15.
Our question for you, who is ready to pay some TAXES!!!