For the Press

Tax Analysts Releases a Video Marking the Centennial of the Federal Income Tax

March 28, 2013

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Tax Analysts, the nonprofit provider of federal, state, and international tax news and analysis, today released a video that looks back at the 100-year history of the federal income tax.


“Tax Analysts has fostered education regarding the income tax for 40 years,” said Christopher E. Bergin, Tax Analysts’ president and publisher. “This video provides a great, quick primer on the income tax. It’s important that every citizen understands the income tax because if someone is putting their hand in your pocket, you’d want to know what they are up to.”

The eight-minute video featuring Joseph Thorndike, a tax historian and director of Tax Analysts’ Tax History Project, discusses the evolution of the federal income tax and provides an engaging, in-depth look at its history. It includes interviews with the general public and addresses some common misconceptions about the income tax.

“The video serves as a great introduction to the income tax – not just where it came from, but where it might be going, too,” said Thorndike. “As we mark the tax's 100th birthday, it's worth thinking about where the next 100 years might take us.”

The video is part of a public service initiative from Tax Analysts providing scholars, policymakers, journalists, and the public with information on the history of U.S. public finance.

Joseph J. Thorndike is a regular columnist for Tax Analysts’ publications and blogs, including Tax Notes magazine, the organization’s flagship publication. He has also written for a number of national publications and academic journals and is the author of Their Fair Share: Taxing the Rich in the Age of FDR, published by the Urban Institute Press. Thorndike serves as a visiting scholar in history at the University of Virginia and an adjunct professor of law at the Northwestern University School of Law. He is also a 2012-2013 fellow at the George W. Bush Institute.

To watch the full video and learn more about the Tax History Project, visit

For more information or to schedule an interview with Thorndike, please contact Shaima Cardillo at 703-531-4852 or