Bizarro Taxes from Around the World
Governments will tax just about anything.
Of course, we are all intimately familiar with income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. But these are just the tip of the iceberg. Governments around the world have come up with some amazingly creative ways to tax their citizens.
In the US for instance, there have been taxes on bachelors, nudity, tattoos, flushing the toilet, and playing cards. Then we have our oddly specific taxes – like those levied on blueberries, flavored vodka, hot air balloons and bedrooms. The government has even come up with ways to tax specific groups of people – for instance Confederate veterans.
Of course, the tax code also serves as a way to pander to special interests. As a result, governments have concocted all kinds of deductions to help lower your tax burden – if you happen to fall into a privileged group. Over the years, tax deductions have existed for pro bodybuilders, kid’s music lessons, trips to Bermuda, swimming pools, breast implants, and pregnancy tests.
Of course, the US isn’t alone in having strange taxes. The Brits have taxed windows, bricks, wig powder, pasties, and printed wallpaper. Apparently you could hang un-printed wallpaper in your home without a visit from the tax man. Oh, and if you live in the UK, bravery is always a good virtue to exhibit. At one time, there was a tax on cowardice.
Here are few more strange taxes from around the world.
Cow farts – Denmark
Urine – Italy
Artists – Ireland
Google – France
House width – Netherlands
Bribes – Germany
Porn – Italy
Studying magic – Netherlands
Breast tax – India
Beard tax – Russia
Toyless cereal tax – Canada
And we can’t leave out the sex toy tax deduction in Australia.
You may have heard that you can’t purchase more than $10,000 worth of gold without it being reported to the IRS. This is a myth.
You can avoid IRS reporting requirements, even on large-scale purchases. You just have to know the rules. Our Guide to Tax-Free Gold and Silver Buying provides the information you need to navigate the complex world of IRS reporting. Our goal is to make it easy to understand exactly what the IRS requires so you can buy and sell with privacy and confidence.
Photo by DoneyHotey via Flickr