6 of The Strangest Tax Laws from Around the World

As the old saying goes, there are only two certainties in life; death and taxes. It’s a pretty morbid sentiment, but alas, it reigns true for most of us in the western world.

To ease the pain that the taxman loves to inflict, here are some of the weirdest tax laws from around the world for you to gawk at.


Playing card tax – Alabama, USA


The state of Alabama is the only state in the US to charge a 10-cent tax on any pack that has 54 cards or fewer in the deck.

Why tax playing cards? No damn idea! There is plenty of information regarding where a playing card tax stamp can be purchased, but no explanation as to why Alabama hate playing cards to the point of taxation.


Vending machine fruit tax – California, USA


Ever bought fruit from a vending machine? Us neither, but if you do so in California, it’ll cost you more than the supermarket. 33% more to be precise.

Assumedly, this is to cover the cost of fruit turnover, as a banana is sure to mould up a lot quicker than a packet of Doritos.


Tethered hot air balloon tax – US


I don’t know what it is about our friends in The United States, but they sure do love to tax some goofy shit.

Kansas imposes a tax on the sale of admissions for “any place providing amusement, entertainment or recreation services.” A hot air balloon that’s tethered to the ground isn’t actually going anywhere, so they class it as an amusement that tax can be charged on.

A balloon that travels however, is not subject to this tax, as it’s occupants are moving from one point to another. Confusing? Absolutely.


Culturally British film tax break – UK


In an effort to keep British culture alive in film, the UK have offered tax breaks to film makers to create films that are “culturally British”.

To be eligible, the film must score at least 16 out of 31 in a “culture test”. If successful, they will receive a 25% tax break. More Monty Python films pls.

As British as it gets.


 Exceptional tree deduction – Hawaii, USA


If you live in Hawaii and believe that you have an “exceptional tree” growing in your front yard, you can deduct up to 3,000 big ones in maintenance costs from your taxes.

How the hell do you know if your tree is exceptional? What about a tree that’s just nice, or kinda great trees? Exceptional is a strong word.


Bagel Tax – New York, USA


Like a nice rotund bagel to get you going in the morning? Well if you live in New York, you might want to think twice before you get it to go.

Bagels that are prepared with toppings in the state are subject to sales tax, but only if you get it to take away. Eating in the store? No probs, fam!