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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/112

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN DENMARK

14 to 50 per mille, i.e. double the maximum of 1903. The income tax now ranges from 0.67 to 1.25 per mille.

The same principles were applied to inheritance taxes. The act of 1861 provided a progressive rate according to the relationship of the heirs but without regard to the size of the estate. This was changed in 1908, and the tax now had a moderate progression. It was considerably increased in 1915. During the war the rapidity of legislation gave people little time to consider the various proposals that were submitted. Principles went by the board. It was all-important to discover sources for direct or indirect taxes. No originality could be displayed, the given models were followed and money was taken wherever it could be found. To this extent there was something to go by, as the war circumstances had created unprecedented fortunes and incomes, on which the state naturally had its eye. Indirectly, taxation was imposed by an act of 1915 introducing a stamp-tax on the transfer of bonds, the so-called Exchange Act which was increased in 1916 and made to yield several millions; directly, by various acts increasing the tax on incomes and property. The rates were raised in 1915, further an extraordinary provisional income tax law was passed providing that the taxpayer should pay, besides his usual income-tax, a considerable tax on the amount by which his present profits exceeded his average profits for the three preceding years. In 1916 the law was amended so that the Excess Profits Tax for very great incomes rose as high as 25 per cent. The following year a provisional supplement was added to the income and property tax applying to incomes of over 6,000 kroner and fortunes over 20,000 kroner at a rapidly progressive rate.

Besides these there was a series of indirect taxes. The remarkably low duty on gin had been raised in 1912, and in 1917 it was raised again. In the same year an additional duty was also imposed on wine, and a tax was imposed on cigars and cigarillos, and an increased tax on cigarettes.