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The First Form 1040

Today is the deadline for filing returns for personal income taxes for 2016. The current federal income tax can be traced back to the Revenue Act of 1913, which was passed after the ratification, by the states, of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. The act provided that taxes on individual taxpayers would be imposed beginning for the year 1913 on incomes of $3,000 and up.

Our modern Form 1040 can be traced back to the original form, photos of which are to the right and below. This form is reproduced from Federal legislation, 1913-1914; income tax, war revenue, federal reserve bank, anti-trust and trade commission lawspublished by the Federal Legislative Bulletin Service in 1915.

The Law Library of Congress has an extensive collection of materials concerning the history of federal taxation, including bills, committee reports, and laws. Many of these sources can be accessed through Congress.gov, or in specific databases that are available onsite at the Library of Congress.

Happiness on the Shelf

Are you happy today? If not today, are you happy with your life generally? If you’re wondering why that question matters, and you tend to think about pursuing happiness as a poetic flourish rather than a  mission statement, you might want to look at the United Nations’ (UN) declaration in support of its 4th International […]

The Masquerade King and the Regulation of Dancing in Sweden

The following is a guest post by Elin Hofverberg, a foreign law research consultant who covers Scandinavian countries. Elin has previously written for In Custodia Legis on diverse topics, including Alfred Nobel’s Will: A Legal Document that Might Have Changed the World and a Man’s Legacy, Researching Norwegian Law Online and in the Library, the Swedish Detention Order Regarding Julian […]

An Interview with Melanie Antanesian, Legislative and External Relations Intern

This week’s interview is with Melanie Antanesian. Melanie is working on communications and event planning for the Law Library’s Legislative and External Relations Division.  Describe your background. I have called the quaint town of Clarksburg, Maryland my home for the majority of my life. I am currently studying public relations and technology entrepreneurship at Montgomery […]

190th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Free State of Coahuila and Texas

The following is a joint collaboration with Janice Hyde, Assistant Law Librarian for Collections. March is a very important month for Texas.  March is Texas History Month!  Every year, on March 2, Texas celebrates the anniversary of its independence. And it’s no surprise that this anniversary aligns with the festivities set out for Texas Public […]

Australia’s 1967 Constitutional Referendum Related to Indigenous People: The Women Who Campaigned for “Yes”

I decided to observe International Women’s Day (today, March 8) by highlighting several Australian women, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, who had key roles in bringing about a constitutional referendum held in Australia on May 27, 1967, and in campaigning for the “yes” vote. The referendum contained questions related to two provisions in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against […]

China’s Population and Family Planning Law – Law Library Collection Highlights

China’s population and family planning law, known as the “one child law” recently changed to “two child law,” has always been a topic of interest to our patrons who have submitted many questions to the Law Library. Our Foreign Law Intern, Emma Wei, has prepared a bibliography with highlights of our collections and publications on […]

Your Place for Supreme Court Records & Briefs – Pic of the Week

Today’s Pic of the Week features our collection of Supreme Court Records and Briefs. As I was showing off our closed stacks collection to the Law Library’s two newest reference librarians, Latia Ward and Janeen Williams, it struck me that this vast collection might make for an interesting blog post. Debbie Keysor, now Chief of […]