Was income tax found to be unconsitutional ? Yes when did it change?


History and Purpose of the Amendment

The ratification of this Amendment was the direct consequence of the Court's decision in 1895 in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co., 1 whereby the attempt of Congress the previous year to tax incomes uniformly throughout the United States 2 was held by a divided court to be unconstitutional. A tax on incomes derived from property, 3 the Court declared, was a ''direct tax'' which Congress under the terms of Article I, Sec. 2, and Sec. 9, could impose only by the rule of apportionment according to population, although scarcely fifteen years prior the Justices had unanimously sustained 4 the collection of a similar tax during the Civil War, 5 the only other occasion preceding the Sixteenth Amendment in which Congress had ventured to utilize this method of raising revenue. 6

During the interim between the Pollock decision in 1895 and the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, the Court gave evidence of a greater awareness of the dangerous consequences to national solvency which that holding threatened, and partially circumvented the threat, either by taking refuge in redefinitions of ''direct tax'' or, and more especially, by emphasizing, virtually to the exclusion of the former, the history of excise taxation. Thus, in a series of cases, notably Nicol v. Ames, 7 Knowlton v. Moore, 8 and Patton v. Brady, 9 the Court held the following taxes to have been levied merely upon one of the ''incidents of ownership'' and hence to be excises: a tax which involved affixing revenue stamps to memoranda evidencing the sale of merchandise on commodity exchanges, an inheritance tax, and a war revenue tax upon tobacco on which the hitherto imposed excise tax had already been paid and which was held by the manufacturer for resale.

Because of such endeavors the Court thus found it possible to sustain a corporate income tax as an excise ''measured by income'' on the privilege of doing business in corporate form. 10 The adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment, however, put an end to speculation whether the Court, unaided by constitutional amendment, would persist along these lines of construction until it had reversed its holding in the Pollock case. Indeed, in its initial appraisal 11 of the Amendment it classified income taxes as being inherently ''indirect.'' ''[T]he command of the amendment that all income taxes shall not be subject to apportionment by a consideration of the sources from which the taxed income may be derived, forbids the application to such taxes of the rule applied in the Pollock case by which alone such taxes were removed from the great class of excises, duties, and imports subject to the rule of uniformity and were placed under the other or direct class.'' 12 ''[T]he Sixteenth Amendment conferred no new power of taxation but simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged.'' 13


6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The first income tax in the US was found unconditional. It changed with the passage of the 16th amendment:

    The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    Prior to the 16th amendment, income tax was a violation on the following from Article 1 Section 2:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other Persons.

    The 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, made 'other Persons' an outdated term.

    Spelling and capitalization is as found in my copy of the constitution.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'll tell you what. There are dozens of websites that legally outline each and every argument that tax is illegal, and the case history of how everyone that tried it, no matter how many books they sold, did not get away with it or was convicted.

    One author was fined an additional $3,000 in taxes just for bringing it up in court.

    Case in point: a female airline pilot won in criminal court because the judge didn't like the IRS. However, he could not bar the IRS from collecting her back taxes, fines, and interest they imposed civily. Even if you do it wone way, they get you the other way.

    Of course, if the illegals are not deported, if enough people stop paying taxes, that would have a reverberating effect. That way you hit Washington where it hurts. If the borders go so does the constiution - their will be no law unless a constututional amendment is added.

  • 3 years ago

    the only time it may be distinctive is that in case you paid much less tax than that. If somebody paid, say £50 tax a year at present, you will get lower back the quantity you had paid to this element. for somebody on a extreme earnings and paying a great variety of tax, it does no longer be a rebate, yet your month-to-month tax invoice could be decreased with the aid of £60.

  • 1 decade ago

    Income tax is constitutional because it is the lifeblood of the state. It is a valid imposition by the government upon the citizens for contributions from their income to finance the operations of the government such as public works and services. How can the government exist if there are no funds to use for its expenses.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Your "question" is utter nonsense. If you wish to get up close and personal with the IRS's Criminal Investigations Division, I encourage you to both follow through on your foolish ideas and encourage other donkeys to join your little parade. I've seen so many amateur lawyers who try to make these stupid arguments, that I'm not even going to try to talk you out of it or bother explaining why you're wrong. Chance are, you wouldn't listen anyway. Tell the Treasury agents I said hello!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think ww1

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