A copy of the most recent federal income tax tables are available for viewing on IRS.gov. Also available on the Internal Revenue Service's website are other publications, including tax guides for individuals and employers.
Abraham Lincoln instituted the first income tax in America in 1862 to help the Union pay for the costs associated with the Civil War, according to Jill Lepore for The New Yorker. Following the end of the war, the income tax was allowed to expire. It was not until the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the Panic of 1907 that followed, that U.S. Congress passed the 16th Amendment, which authorized an income tax and created the central banking system..
Franklin Roosevelt signed the Revenue Act of 1942 into law, resulting in a broadening of the tax base and making the income tax rates increasingly progressive, reports Lepore. After the Revenue Act of 1942, 85 percent of American families filed an income tax return with the federal government. Since its inception, the income tax has been controversial among many conservative Americans; critics have called the tax "inquisitorial, confiscatory, meddlesome, socialist, and Marxist." Though the income tax rates have changed over the years, with presidents such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush making income tax cuts a central focus of their administrations, there has been no repeal of the income tax.