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Weird History

The Weirdest Things People Were Actually Taxed For

List Rules
Vote up the strangest historical taxes.

Everybody expects to be taxed, but what is appropriate to tax? We're all used to taxation on income, imports, vices, and the like. But really, all sorts of things are taxable in theory - if a government (or despot) is determined to do it. Whether people will stand for it is another question. Unpopular taxes can have enormous consequences, as any student of the American Revolution knows.

The taxes below are some of the more peculiar ones to come down through history. Some are millennia old, while others are still current, or very recent. And if you're trying to do your taxes now, at least you don't have to fill out a line in your 1040 about the state of your facial hair.

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