We pay taxes on almost every part of our life -- sales taxes on our food and clothing, airport taxes on our travel and even local taxes to attend a concert or event. But perhaps the most well-known tax, familiar to Americans from the time they're old enough to say April 15, is the federal income tax.
The first federal income tax was enacted as part of the Revenue Act of 1862 and levied to finance the Civil War. It was followed by the Revenue Act of 1913, which serves as the basis for today's Internal Revenue Code. But the 1913 Tax Code was a mere 14 pages long. Since that time there have been many modifications and expansions. In fact, significant changes to the Tax Code now occur almost on an annual basis -- not to mention all of the Treasury regulations and IRS rulings and pronouncements that are also changed or added. All in all, federal tax rules are contained in some 45,662 pages, or nearly 6,929,000 words, as estimated by the Tax Foundation.
The complex and ever-changing nature of tax law has spawned an entire industry for professionals who have mastered it, including attorneys who work for a wide variety of employers, including law firms, corporations, accounting firms, and the U.S. government. This Vault guide will bring you the inside scoop on these careers.