Income Tax – Amendment Xvi
The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, Fully Revised 2d ed. (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation and Regnery Publishing, 2014), pp. 524-26.
6 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2016
Date Written: 2014
This essay discusses the Sixteenth Amendment which, by exempting “taxes on incomes” from the apportionment requirement otherwise applicable to direct taxes, made the modern income tax possible. Although many commentators don’t realize it, not all taxes are “taxes on incomes,” and a tax isn’t “on incomes” just because Congress says it is. Any tax that is direct but that is not a tax on incomes remains subject to the apportionment requirement, which means it would be almost impossible to implement.
Keywords: direct taxes, indirect taxes, Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust, taxes on incomes, Sixteenth Amendment
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation