The earliest known instance of taxation dates back 5,000 years in Egypt. I suppose the pharaohs needed it to finance those pyramids. Before that, death was the only thing that was certain; after that, taxes became as certain as death. Good ol’ Ben Franklin noticed that.
The Encyclopedia Britannica describes taxation as “imposition of compulsory levies on individuals or entities by governments. Taxes are levied in almost every country of the world, primarily to raise revenue for government expenditures, although they serve other purposes as well.”
It goes on to add that:
Taxes differ from other sources of revenue in that they are compulsory levies and are unrequited—i.e., they are generally not paid in exchange for some specific thing, … While taxes are presumably collected for the welfare of taxpayers as a whole, the individual taxpayer’s liability is independent of any specific benefit received. Continue reading