William Pitt introduces income tax

Accommodation Search

History on 9th January


Nelson's State Funeral

William Pitt introduces income tax

The 9th of January 1799 AD

William Pitt the Younger – Britain’s youngest ever Prime Minister when he came to power in 1783 at the tender age of 24 - introduced income tax as “a temporary measure” in his December 1798 budget, coming into force on 9th January 1799.

Faced with the escalating costs of the Napoleonic arms race Pitt, so often an innovator, levied taxes according to five schedules of income sources: land; commercial use of land; public securities; trading, professional, and overseas earnings; and employment.

It is illuminating that the 1799 rates were a little under 1 per cent on annual income over £60, with a higher rate of 10 per cent for annual income in excess of £200.

Pitt had already been a tax reformer earlier in his career, dropping duties on various goods to make smuggling them less attractive.

Addington , who replaced Pitt as PM in 1801, did away with income tax the following year, but when war recommenced in 1803 it was hastily brought back, and save for a period of respite between 1816 and 1842 has been with us ever since.

More famous dates here

12382 views since 23rd February 2007

Brit Quote:
A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible - Thomas Hardy
More Quotes

On this day:
Relief of Lucknow - 1857, Blunt Treason Revealed - 1979, England Fans Riot in Luxembourg - 1983
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages