Will Congress Repeal the Sixteenth Amendment?

Should Tax Day & Election Day have the same date? 

By NCCS – January 25, 2023

You likely have already received tax documents, like W-2s, in preparation for your 2022 tax returns. This arduous yearly task may be a thing of the past—but probably not. Since its passage in 1913, there have been numerous proposals to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment. That attempt was again presented before the House of Representatives on January 9th, 2023. H.R. 25, also known as the FairTax Act of 2023, seeks to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, dismantle the IRS, and implement a national sales tax.

Taxation is a tricky business. Its poor methods and administration can harass the people and cripple the economy. But if done properly, taxation can raise necessary funding for the government without becoming the beast we all fear. The Founders struggled to discover the best method of taxation. While there are many ways to raise funds, they determined that it was never a good policy to allow the national government to reach directly into the pockets of the people. However, this is exactly what the Sixteenth Amendment authorizes.

Taxation – A Historical Cause of Revolts

Few issues raise American tempers as much as that of taxation. Nor is our generation any different from those that preceded it. Early American patriots risked the stern British justice system by dumping a shipload of taxable tea into the bay at Boston. Many of these same men rioted in the streets of Boston to protest Britain’s stamp tax.

After the Revolutionary War was over, deep-seated concerns about government taxation continued. Just months before the Constitutional Convention began, Shay’s Rebellion erupted over issues of paper money, bank foreclosures, and unfair taxation. With this history of volatility, it is no wonder that taxation was a subject of hot debate in the national and state conventions.

The Task of Developing a Proper System of Taxation

The form of taxation chosen by a government has a profound impact, not only on the nation’s economic health, but also on the extent to which the collection of revenues invades the privacy or otherwise violates the rights of the individual taxpayer. The framers of our Constitution believed that taxes should be…

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The National Center for Constitutional Studies