August 5th – Saturday

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. – James 1:5

The Revenue Act was passed by Congress on this day in 1861. The U.S. government faced a financial crisis and needed funds to support the Civil War. Trade with Europe had slowed significantly, decreasing the revenue from tariffs on imported goods. The revenue act introduced the first-ever federal income tax in the U.S. to address the country’s financial issues. The tax was imposed at a rate of three percent on individuals earning over $800 annually. Though many criticized this tax as an unfair burden on the wealthy, the income tax did help to provide the necessary funding for the war effort. While Congress repealed the initial income tax in 1872, the concept persisted and federal legislators instituted the income tax again in 1894. Though the Supreme Court struck it down, the necessary majority of states ratified the 16th Amendment in 1913 allowing the federal government to collect income tax.

As the Lord leads, pray with us…

  • For Commissioner Danny Werfel to seek God’s guidance as he oversees the Internal Revenue Service.
  • For Treasury Department officials as they manage the nation’s finances.
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