Tuesday, March 9, 1943
I’m not saying my parents were thrilled to fill out tax forms. But I suspect they shared a special joy in being able to check off “married couple.” Of course, that was a savings, too, even though tax time was hard on everyone in 1943. While wages, income and expenses were much lower than today, rates were much higher, especially on the wealthy. The Corporate Tax was 31-40% with a graduated Excess Profits Tax of 35-60%. There was also a 5% Victory Tax for incomes over $624/year but with postwar credit. The Personal Exemption was reduced from $1500 to $1200 for a married couple and the exemption for dependents was reduced from $400 to $350 each. Sure there was grousing. But at least the pain was spread evenly as well as proportionately. So, the richer you were, the more you paid in taxes. Yes, there were profiteers and shady deals on the black market. But there was also a national will to share burdens for the sake of the wartime effort – all the more so as the draft meant virtually every family had or knew someone in the military. And talking about sharing: Russia had requested a shipment of dried beans amounting to twice the entire crop that was already the largest in history!