Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Romans and Taxes

Warsaw Business Journal Online - business in poland,warsaw,polish companies,companies database: "The first recorded evidence of tax dates back to 2350 B.C. Tomb paintings in Egypt depict relentless tax collectors selling delinquents into slavery for failure to pay tax on fish catches and garden produce. The Greeks fought a bloody war against Persia to resist a tribute tax, but then had to impose one to pay for the war.

Ancient Rome had an elaborate tax system which encompassed sales taxes, inheritance taxes and taxes on imports and exports. In the 4th century BC, the Romans built a tax-free shipping port at Delos, which some refer to as history's first tax haven. It was also the Romans who first invented inheritance tax, imposed upon all citizens at the rate of 10 percent, and who introduced imprisonment for tax evasion. "

The last statement surprised me because I was under the impression the Romans had no prison system, at least not in Rome itself.
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