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A Halloween Horror Story

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With Halloween approaching, everybody loves a good horror story, and what’s more horrifying than tax!

Tax has been around since the ancient times and over the years there have been a number of strange and shocking taxes in the UK, many have been imposed into operation and revoked years later, but I am sure you will agree that even today there still a few weird taxes!
Hat tax
This strange tax required all hat retailers to buy a special licence, display a sign in the shop window and every man’s hat had to have a revenue stamp pasted inside on the lining. Anyone who failed to pay the tax was fined and anyone who forged the revenue stamp was given the death penalty!

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Beard tax
Actually this one was kept simple – a tax on all men who had beards.

It was abolished but then reintroduced years later with a slight tweak, only beards with more than two weeks growth would be taxed; I bet that made things interesting!

Window tax
Probably the most well-known unusual tax, every house in England and Scotland were ordered to pay tax on each window and as a result many people bricked up their windows to avoid the cost.

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Printed wall paper tax
Another one punishable by death if it was ignored! Additional tax was incurred on builders who hung pre-printed wall papers, so builders avoided this by hanging plain wallpaper and then painting patterns on it.

And the craze still lives on today, I am sure we can all remember Pasty Tax.

So by taking a look back we can always see that tax was and still is a horrifying story.

However, we are also fortunate in this day and age to have the opportunity to claim back any overpaid tax and as the 31 October approaches don’t forget it is also the filing deadline for paper tax returns – Happy Halloween!

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