The Rosetta Stone, the most significant relic of Egyptian history, is a tax-oriented document. It was inscribed around 200 B.C. during the reign of the boy-king Ptolemy V. It was so important that it was written in three languages. In fact, a large percentage of all ancient documents are tax records of one kind or another.
When Americans started paying annual federal income tax in 1913, they would save money in anticipation of paying a lump sum at the end of the years to the government. It wasn’t until World War II, when the government needed a more consistent stream of income to fund the war, that taxes started being withheld from paychecks.