Cost to US Treasury of business deductions for meals and entertainment in 1989: dollars 8.2bn.
Total time Americans spend on 'hold' each year when phoning the US Inland Revenue Service: 35 years.
Taxes collected by Mussolini: goat tax, bachelor tax.
Most successful British tax: window tax, from 1696 to 1851.
First income tax: The Catastro in Florence, imposed by Lorenzo de' Medici in the 15th century.
First levy of income tax in Britain: 1799, repealed 1802, reimposed 1803.
First peacetime income tax in Britain: 1842.
Highest rate in 1842: 7d in the pound.
Highest rate imposed on an individual: Hilmar Reksten, of Norway, shipping magnate: his combined taxes added up to 491 per cent of taxable income.