In 1705, Emperor Peter I of Russia instituted a beard tax. Those who paid the tax were required to carry a 'beard token'. This was a copper or silver token inscribed with 'the tax has been taken' and 'the beard is a superfluous burden'.
No tax system is created in a vacuum. Shaping the system explores the ways in which the Australian tax system has evolved over time. It is divided into three sections. The first part canvasses the three levels of government, their respective sources of income and major items of expenditure.
The second part explores Australia's history in terms of both tax events and issues and contemporaneous events. Students are asked to select which period in history they think the key changes occurred; with the aim of challenging their preconceptions about policy systems through history.
The third part explores the types of taxes that contribute to Australia's revenue and asks students to consider what this 'tax landscape' might look like if alternative tax systems or schemes were applied.Shaping the system - PDF version