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IRS Form 1040 Turns 100

IRS Form 1040 Turns 100

Among the notable birthdays that occurred over this tax season is the IRS Form 1040, introduced in 1913 following the ratification of the 16th Amendment.  That amendment gave the government the power to tax incomes without apportioning the burden among states based on population.

The original form required only one page of instructions, compared to the tax code of today which runs some 73,000 pages.  It initially applied only to incomes of more than $3,000, with a surtax of 6 percent on incomes of more than $500,000.  By 1918, the top tax rate had increased to 77 percent in order to pay for World War I.

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