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Direct taxation

Taxation levied directly on the members of a community and paid directly by them to the revenue authorities either personally or through an employer. This is unlike indirect taxation, that is not dependent on a person’s wealth, but on the goods that he buys (e,g. value added tax, Customs and Excise duty, etc.). Direct taxation has taken many forms other than the present income tax, introduced during the Napoleonic Wars. There have been poll taxes (i.e. taxes per head). window taxes (on the number of windows). chimney taxes and taxes on servants, etc. these applied mostly to the rich and were these applied mostly to the rich and were and replaced by licences, levies, duties. etc., which applied to everybody.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.