Why Did Caesar Augustus Do A Taxation ?
| Caesar Augustus is considered by many people in today’s world to have been one of the most brilliant tax strategists in the Roman Empire. While Caesar Augustus was ruling Rome, he ensured that the publicani were not used for collection taxes for the central government. Instead, he handed the reins over to the cities.
However, the big question many people ask is why did Caesar do taxation? The reason is by 5 CE, military expenditure had increased too much that the Roman legions income could not keep up with the expenses. This is the time when Caesar Augustus decided to tax the Roman Empire and passed a decree to this effect.
During this period, there was no tax plan. Instead a military treasury was set up in 6 CE to which Augustus made a contribution himself and promised to do every year. He also accepted voluntary contributions from other kinds and certain communities. However, he did not take any money from private citizens. These contributions were very little in comparison to the expenses.
Therefore, to overcome the difference between the contributions and expenses, Augustus established a 5 percent tax on inheritance. This tax was levied on anything that was left by people at the death to anyone. This tax was not paid if the inheritors were spouses, children or very poor. This led to the Roman Empire conducting a wide scale census to register transferable assets like land and establishing a record of genealogies of different families spread across the Empire.
It is well known fact that the English and Dutch used the inheritance tax introduced by Augustus to develop a similar tax in their own countries and empires.
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