Taxes (and Pensions) in Scripture, in Europe, and Today

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PAYG (Pay as you go) tax rates on Australian Residents 2019-20

Taxable incomeTax on this income
0 - $18,200Nil
$18,201 - $37,00019c for each $1 over $18,200
$37,001 - $90,000$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
$90,001 - $180,000$20,797 plus 37c for each $1 over $90,000
$180,001 and over$54,097 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000
The above rates do not include the Medicare levy of 2%

Click here for a Capital Gains tax calculator

Australia Aged Pensions

Current dates and planned dates for retirement.

Upcoming Pensioners
For anyone born in 1953, it's 65½.
For anyone born in 1954, it's 66.


Born On or AfterRetirement AgeDate of ChangeEarliest Age Pension
1st July 195265½1st July 20171st January 2018
1st January 1954661st July 20191st January 2020
1st July 195566½1st July 20211st January 2022
1st January 1957671st July 20231st January 2024


The following dates were planned which would increase the Age Pension age to 70 years. In September 2018, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that the Liberals would be withdrawing this policy.

Born On or AfterRetirement AgeDate of ChangeEarliest Age Pension
1st July 195867½1st July 20251st January 2026
1st January 1960681st July 20271st January 2028
1st July 196168½1st July 20291st January 2030
1st January 1963691st July 20311st January 2032
1st July 196469½1st July 20331st January 2034
1st January 1966701st July 20351st January 2036

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Ancient History

Firstly, there was no "old age" pensions scheme. If your family couldn't support you, you'd have to go to the temple, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian, and I guess "hope for the best".

Secondly, at a time of famine in Egypt, scripture records Joseph charging 20% on yields of crops and herds. Genesis 47:24

Moses set up mandatory tithes and offerings to support the Levites and Priests, also the poor.
Plus an annual head-tax or poll-tax of a half-shekel that would support the Tabernacle and later the Temple.

Tax Farming (Tax Gathering) in New Testament Times the early mafia

Click here for further background to these "tax gatherers" ("telones" in the original Greek)

See too Matthew 17:25 which talks about telos (similar to customs duties) and kensos (census – the annual "head-tax") taken by the kings of the earth, also referred to as the "phoros" – the "load borne" from having to pay the kensos.

In Matthew 22:19, the nominated coin (called a nomisma) was the Roman denarius, a silver coin weighing about 4 grams and about 80% purity.
With regards to the Temple tax in Matthew 17:24, a half-shekel per person according to Moses, it was rated at two drachma (didrachma), an 8 gram silver coin of higher purity, over 90%. When Peter pays the tax for himself and Jesus, he pays it with a stater, a four drachma coin.

Click on the following verse for the Hebrew words used in Ezra 4:20, with respect to taxes paid to the Persian emperor.

Holy Roman Empire

The English verb "Tax" and the noun "Taxes" come from a Roman verb "taxare". It is linked to a Greek verb "tasso" — to tag, appoint, set, order or ordain. Click here for its New Testament usage.

After Rome came the Holy Roman Empire, that became modern Germany, where since the Middle Ages it had "tax deducted at source" i.e. taxes that were withheld by the land-owner or employer and paid directly to the government and the local church. /files /2012-10-30-abc-on-taxes.pdf

However governments have always found it notoriously difficult collecting income tax or poll tax from individuals, ever since Adam, from what I can see. Trying to get the local population to register. Customs Duty and Sales Taxes (GST and VAT) on beer and wine and tobacco and gambling winnings and other goods, well that seems to have been a little simpler, at an entrance gate to a market, say, as in Jerusalem. You could insist on a poll tax, endeavour to take tithes, but so many found them difficult to police, without a lot of corruption.


China's tax income, from income tax, has been estimated as 2%.
But when foreign businesses or foreign employees start working inside a country, that's easier to police, withholding tax has been applied to their earnings historically, pretty much in every country, everywhere. Territorial taxes.

Since World War 2


Over in India in 1961, the government took an unusual step. As well as having a similar system to Germany for registered businesses on wages and salaries called TDS (Tax Deducted at Source), residents in India register with the government which enables them also to deduct TDS whenever paying rent or interest or for contracted labor or for professional services, etc. They then issue a certificate for that amount to the payee. The resident reports on and pays this tax quarterly, if it is high, else annually. Note too that no tax is payable in India on numerous basic goods from the markets — that includes most live animals, most foodstuffs, clothing, paper, books, newspapers, electricity, postage stamps, etc.

Australia and US, Canada and UK

Over to Australia. Deducting tax from income earned by domestic employees up front, it was actually brought in during World War 2 by four countries, USA and Australia in 1942, Canada in 1943 and UK in 1944.

Very unpopular with people, though, unless you're in a war. And at the time, they were mainly taxing rich workers, using calculators and business machines, and later on, computers. Yep, no other country was really set up for that. However it's used now in at least three other countries, in New Zealand since 1958, in Ireland since 1960, and in France since the start of this year, 2019. No wonder unions over there are rioting


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