The Internal Revenue Service and Taxation


Tax History

The Tax History Project

This public service initiative from Tax Analysts, established in 1995, provides scholars, policymakers, journalists, and the general public with information on the history of U.S. public finance. Features include:

The Tax History Museum

A virtual museum of United States tax history, this interactive webpage provides interesting tax history from colonial times to the present day.  With illustrations and sound clips, one can learn how taxes have shaped culture and history.

Brief History of the Internal Revenue Service

This summary provides information on this well-known government agency’s history and structure as well as its recent changes and initiatives.

History of the US Tax System

This page from the Department of the Treasury reproduces a 1935 message from President Roosevelt to Congress explaining his views on taxing individuals’ estates.

History of Taxes

This page from the Department of the Treasury answers the questions “Why do we need to pay taxes? How did our tax system evolve? Can you tell me when the federal estate tax became part of the tax code and the rationale behind it?”

Tax Statistics

Tax Statistics

Facts about taxes collected, number of returns filed, income, and more for individuals, businesses and tax exempt organizations.

Understanding Taxes-Student and Teacher Resources

Understanding Taxes

This source from the IRS provides lesson plans, interactive activities, and simulations for teachers and middle school, high school, and community college students. For Educators, every Understanding Taxes lesson includes the correlations to national and state educational standards. Each lesson plan includes a link to the applicable national and state standards, making it simple to integrate Understanding Taxes into your existing classroom curricula.

Tax Fun:

Presidential Tax Returns

See the President’s, former Presidents’, and presidential candidates’ tax returns — How much did the various presidents make? Who made the most money in office? Who made the least?

Tax Quotes

The IRS has compiled quotes about taxes from Senators, humorists, authors, and more.

Cartoons & Posters From the History of U.S. Taxation

What did Einstein have to do with taxes?   The Tax History Project has gathered images about taxes from multiple publications.