Explore the unusual taxes which were enforced around the world

Taxes are compulsory contributions collected by the government. In the past many governments and rulers have imposed some pretty unusual taxes. Here are some of the strange taxes enforced.

Beard Tax in Russia : People had to carry a token showing they had paid their beard tax because King Peter the Great of Russia wanted to modernize and westernize Russia like the rest of Europe at that time.

Window Tax in England, France, Ireland and Scotland: Although discontinued now, during the 18th and 19th centuries, people had to pay taxes according to the number of windows they had in their houses. The logic was to tax the rich who used to live in mansions with a lot of windows.

Urine Tax in Rome: Urine was considered a valuable commodity in ancient Rome because it contained ammonia, as it was used to wash clothes, whiten teeth, etc. the tax was imposed on distribution of urine from Rome’s public urinals.

Hat Tax in Britain : Imposed by the British Government in 1784, all hats had a revenue stamp pasted inside their linings. The idea was to tax the rich as they had more hats in comparison to the poor. However, it was abolished in 1811.

Cowardice Tax in England : During the 10th century, medieval King Henry I of England imposed a tax on the knights. They had to pay a scutage tax if they chose to opt out fighting wars.

Shadow Tax in Italy : Created in 1993, restaurant owners in Conegliano have to pay about $100 a year, if their shading devices or signs cast a shadow on public streets.

Bachelor Tax in USA: First imposed in 1820, an unmarried man between 21 and 50 in Missouri, USA had to pay $1 per year. Such taxes have also existed in other countries including Germany, Italy etc.

Cattle Flatulence Tax in Estonia : The tax on cattle gases in Estonia helps the government in preventing air pollution and reducing the greenhouse effect. According to different estimates, this account for about 15% to 25% of overall gas emissions into the air.