Taxes and Pensions in Scripture and Today

Firstly, the Feudal System, not just an English system but a worldwide system that goes back thousands of years, whether you lived in Germany in the west, or in Japan in the east.

Feudalism is based on proto-Germanic (Fehu) from proto-European (Peku) — livestock, sheep, cattle, i.e. capital — a system where land-users provide services to land-owners (i.e. Fees) who then provide Taxes (tags, ordained amounts) to their "superior" priests and kings. A land-owner (eg Laban) could employ a shepherd (eg Jacob) Genesis 29 for a negotiated fee / marriage arrangement. Children and servants were part of this. And so, today's income tax is "taxed at source". Also called PAYG (pay as you go Tax), PAYE (pay as you Earn tax).

But following a war eg WW2, or civil revolution, countries may take 70 years or more to stabilize income tax rules. France following 1789 had no PAYE income tax until January 2019. In Russia after the 1918 revolution, it stabilized its "taxed at source" system in 2000 under Vladimir Putin at a flat 13% (no exceptions). China introduced its current "taxed at source" system in 1980, India was earlier in 1961. USA and Canada introduced it in 1943 during WW2, UK and Australia in 1944.

Click here to go to Scripture and Ancient History

Click here to go to a timeline of Income Taxes (self-assessed) and Old Age Pensions in Australia, looking at NSW and Victoria in 1895, and Queensland in 1902. In Queensland, the original assessment was 10 shillings a year for an Adult male earning less than £100, and £1 a year if earning less than £150. Yes, pretty low.


Current PAYG (Pay as you go) tax rates on Australian Residents 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-2023, 2023-2024

following the Budget announcement October 6, 2020
Taxable incomeTax on this income
0 - $18,200Nil
$18,201 - $45,00019c for each $1 over $18,200
$45,001 - $120,000$5,092 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $45,000
$120,001 - $180,000$29,467 plus 37c for each $1 over $120,000
$180,001 and over$51,667 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000
Note, the above rates do not include the Medicare levy of 2%

In this Budget announcement, new tax thresholds $37,000 changed up to $45,000
$90,000 changed up to $120,000. See earlier rates just below.

Earlier PAYG (Pay as you go) tax rates on Australian Residents 2019-20

Taxable incomeTax on this income
0 - $18,200Nil
$18,201 - $37,00019c for each $1 over $18,200
$37,001 - $90,000$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
$90,001 - $180,000$20,797 plus 37c for each $1 over $90,000
$180,001 and over$54,097 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

CAPITAL GAINS Tax (less expenses) is paid at taxpayer's marginal tax rate, noting

  1. No tax is payable for capital gains on the principal place of residence
  2. Capital losses may be offset, and also carried forward to future years
  3. Where the gain is on an asset owned more than 12 months, only 50% of the gain is taxable

Australia Pensions

Click here for the web page of the Commonwealth Department of Social Services who administer pensions and benefits.

Click here for updated Age Pension figures (excluding rent assistance).

Click here for updated Rent assistance figures (if applicable).

Current dates and planned dates for retirement.

Age Pension in 2023
For anyone born after 1st January 1957, it's 67 years, starting 1st January 2024.

Born On or AfterRetirement AgeDate of ChangeEarliest Age Pension
1st July 195265½1st July 20171st January 2018
1st January 1954661st July 20191st January 2020
1st July 195566½1st July 20211st January 2022
1st January 1957671st July 20231st January 2024

There was an early plan to eventually increase the Age Pension age from 67 to 70 years.


The following dates were planned which would increase the Age Pension age to 70 years. In September 2018, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that the Liberals would be withdrawing this policy.

Born On or AfterRetirement AgeDate of ChangeEarliest Age Pension
1st July 195867½1st July 20251st January 2026
1st January 1960681st July 20271st January 2028
1st July 196168½1st July 20291st January 2030
1st January 1963691st July 20311st January 2032
1st July 196469½1st July 20331st January 2034
1st January 1966701st July 20351st January 2036

** End of table


Ancient History

Until recently, there was no "old age" pensions scheme. If your family couldn't support you, you'd have to go to the temple, mosque or synagogue, whether Pagan, Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, and in many ways "hope for the best".

In the Book of Genesis, at a time of famine in Egypt, scripture records Joseph charging 20% on yields of crops and herds. Genesis 47:24

After Israel left Egypt, Moses set up mandatory tithes and offerings to support the Levites and Priests, also the poor, also an annual head-tax or poll-tax of a half-shekel that would support the Tabernacle and later the Temple.

Tax Farming (Tax Gathering) in New Testament Times the early mafia

"Farm" comes from the mediaeval Latin firma, meaning "a fixed agreement, contract".

Tax farming is the name of a Roman practice whereby the burden of tax collection was reassigned by the Roman State to private individuals or groups. It provided a method for collecting taxes across a large area without the need for a tax-collecting bureaucracy. In essence, these individuals or groups paid the taxes for a certain area (and for a certain period of time) and then attempted to cover their outlay by collecting money or saleable goods from the people within that area.

Click here for further background to these "tax gatherers" ("telones" in the original Greek)

See too Matthew 17:25 which talks about telos (similar to customs duties) and kensos (census – the annual "head-tax") taken by the kings of the earth, also referred to as the "phoros" – the "load borne" from having to pay the kensos.

In Matthew 22:19, the nominated coin (called a nomisma) was the Roman denarius, a silver coin weighing about 4 grams and about 80% purity.
With regards to the Temple tax in Matthew 17:24, a half-shekel per person according to Moses, it was rated at two drachma (didrachma), an 8 gram silver coin of higher purity, over 90%. When Peter pays the tax for himself and Jesus, he pays it with a stater, a four drachma coin.

Click on the following verse for the Hebrew words used in Ezra 4:20, with respect to taxes paid to the Persian emperor.

Holy Roman Empire

The English verb "Tax" and the noun "Taxes" come from a Roman verb "taxare". It is linked to a Greek verb "tasso" — to tag, appoint, set, order or ordain. Click here for its New Testament usage.

After Rome came the Holy Roman Empire, that became modern Germany, where since the Middle Ages it had "tax deducted at source" i.e. the taxes were withheld by the land-owner or employer and paid directly to the government (local, provincial and federal) and the local temple. /files /2012-10-30-abc-on-taxes.pdf

However governments have always found it notoriously difficult collecting income tax or poll tax from individuals, ever since Adam. Registering the local population. You could insist on a poll tax, tithes, but so difficult to police, much corruption. Customs Duty and Sales Taxes (GST and VAT) on beer and wine and tobacco and gambling winnings and other goods, well that seems to have been a little simpler, at an entrance gate to a market, say, as in Jerusalem.


China's tax income, from income tax, has been estimated as 2%.
But when foreign businesses or foreign employees start working inside a country, that's easier to police, withholding tax has been applied to their earnings historically, pretty much in every country, everywhere. Territorial taxes.


Over in India in 1961, the government took an unusual step. As well as having a similar system to Germany for registered businesses on wages and salaries called TDS (Tax Deducted at Source), residents in India register with the government which enables them also to deduct TDS whenever paying rent or interest or for contracted labor or for professional services, etc. They then issue a certificate for that amount to the payee. The resident reports on and pays this tax quarterly, if it is high, else annually. Note too that no tax is payable in India on numerous basic goods from the markets — that includes most live animals, most foodstuffs, clothing, paper, books, newspapers, electricity, postage stamps, etc.


Old Age Pensions and Income Tax
The income tax that was imposed on adult residents was not deducted as PAYE or PAYG (Pay as you earn, or Pay as you go). It was a fairly straightforward amount, assessable at the close of each calendar year. See Queensland's assessment rules in 1902 just below. See the more complex Commonwealth rules in 1942, further down the page.

  1. In 1895 in Victoria and NSW, the Income Tax Act enabled them to offer the Old Age Pension in January 1901 with the pension being 10 shillings weekly or 15 shillings for married couples. It was available to all persons of reputable character, aged at least 65, earning less than £50 annually, and resident in NSW for 25+ years (or 20+ years in Victoria). It followed similar schemes in Denmark in 1892, and New Zealand in 1899. Note too, in Victoria and NSW it was permissible for the pensioner to be indigenous from birth provided that the pension applicant had not spent a considerable time in prison, or deserted their spouse for twelve months or more without just cause.
  2. In preparation to offer the same starting in July 1908, in January 1902 the Qld government introduced its Income Tax Act, click here for more details. The levy was 10 shillings per annum on every adult male over the age of 21 earning less then £100, £1 per annum if earning between £100 and £150, then 5% on "produce of property" income and 2½% on "personal exertion" income for income over £150. Note, adult females weren't taxed unless their income exceeded £150. Click here for links to the other states.
  3. Then starting 1st July 1909, the Commonwealth administered the old age pension for all Australians resident 25+ years. It was funded yearly through a reduction of excise duties and customs duties paid to the states. However it excluded Aliens, Asiatics born outside Australia, Africans, Aboriginals, Islanders, the "White" Australia policy that had to wait till 1942 before it started being wound back.

In 1915 during World War One, Commonwealth Income Tax was introduced using a 1st July-30 June financial year. Between 1915 and 1942, income taxes were levied at both the state and federal level, with the states switching to the same financial year as the commonwealth i.e. 1st July-30 June. In the 1930s South Australia introduced PAYE (Pay as you earn) tax deductions from salary, the only state to do so.
For further background on Australia's tax history, click here.

PAYE (Pay as you earn) tax on domestic employees was brought in by the Allied Powers during World War 2 in four countries, USA and Canada in 1943, UK and Australia in 1944. When Australia's Commonwealth Government implemented PAYE on 1st July 1944, the Australian Tax Office cancelled three-quarters of the tax owing 1943-44 to lighten the taxpayer's two-year burden.

On the other side of the war, Japan introduced PAYE in 1940, and Germany imposed its will on the countries it invaded — Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc.

Prior to PAYE, Uniform Taxation in Australia (Combined Federal and State) was introduced 1942-43

Click here to see the legislation (First Schedule).

Personal Exertion Income
(Property Income was fractionally higher)
Tax on this income
0 - £2008d per pound (3.333% - one-thirtieth) up to £150.
Every pound of taxable income in excess of £150 shall be 8.12 pence increasing uniformly by 12 pennies for every pound by which the taxable income exceeds £151
£200 - £2509½d per pound (3.95833%) up to £200.
Every pound of taxable income in excess of £200 shall be 50.08 pence increasing uniformly by .08 of one penny for every pound by which the taxable income exceeds £201.
£250 - £60018.4d per pound (7.6667%) up to £250.
Every pound of taxable income in excess of £250 shall be 58.02 pence increasing uniformly by .08 of one penny for every pound by which the taxable income exceeds £251.
£600 - £250045.5833d per pound (18.993%) up to £600.
Every pound of taxable income in excess of £600 shall be 72.033 pence increasing uniformly by .033 of one penny for every pound by which the taxable income exceeds £601.
£2,500 - £4,000113.312d per pound (47.213%) up to £2,500.
Every pound of taxable income in excess of £2,500 shall be 198.006 pence increasing uniformly by .006 of one penny for every pound by which the taxable income exceeds £2,500.
Over £4,000148.445d per pound (61.812%) up to £4,000 plus 216 pence (90%) for every pound by which the taxable income exceeds £4,000.

Though, unless you're in a war, the PAYE rates of income tax were very unpopular with people. Rich workers were hit with marginal top rates of 90%, though this rate in Australia was lowered after the war. PAYE was then implemented in New Zealand in 1958 and in Ireland in 1960.

In the Soviet Union, the runaway inflation of its rouble meant its personal income tax was pretty much irrelevant. In 2000, Vladimir Putin introduced a flat rate of PAYE for everyone (inside Russia) of 13%.

In France, PAYE was implemented at the start of 2019. No wonder unions over there are rioting

IMF: /external /pubs /nft /1998/tlaw/eng/ch15.pdf

** End of Page

Go Top