5 genuinely interesting tax facts... no, really!

Tax is not a sexy subject. Just the mere mention of the word causes most people’s eyes to glaze over or brings them out in hives. However, here at LondonlovesBusiness.com we thought it was about time tax got interesting.

Here are the top five most fascinating facts about tax. Consider yourself educated.

1. There’s no such thing as road tax

Any cyclist will tell you, maintenance of our public highways is paid for out of our general tax pot, meaning anyone who pays tax in the UK contributes to it, whether they like it or not. What motorists often call “road tax” is actually a tax on emissions. As cyclists don’t produce any, they don’t pay.

2. The 6 April tax year start date came from a year that only had 354 days

When Britain, in 1752, changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar (the one with leap years we have now) it had to drop 11 days from its calendar and move some months around to match up with the rest of Europe. It meant, in that one year, 2 September was immediately followed by 14 September and also meant the tax date became 6 April. Most other countries run their tax on a calendar year.

3. Council tax doesn’t go to the council

The collection of council tax and the pot of money councils receive are two separate things. When you pay your council tax, it goes to the government, not your local council. The government decides each council’s budget separately and dishes out the funds from its big pot.

4. Britain invented income tax

Taxes have been around since Ancient Greece, but it was Britain that invented income tax. The chancellor and prime minister at the time, William Pitt the Younger, introduced the tax in 1798 in an attempt to raise funds for war with Napoleon. The rate was 10% on an individual’s total income from all sources above £60.

5. Poor people pay more tax than rich people

A constant gripe for some people is that a large amount is deducted from their salary in tax, while others who earn less than them appear to get off scot free. However, as a proportion of their incomes, poorer people actually pay more tax than rich people. This is because of a myriad of flat taxes such as VAT, council tax, alcohol and fuel duty, television licences and National Insurance. Taking all these into account, the poorest 10% of families pay an average of 45% tax, while the other 90% pay somewhere between 31% and 35%.

Do you have any more? Tweet me your thoughts @robynvinter

Button - LinkedIn

Social Bookmarks