Revenue Acts, 1935, 1936, 1938

   Reversing the trend of the previous Republican administrations and indicative of the more radical approach of the “Second New Deal,” the Revenue Acts increased general taxes, estate and gift taxes, and excess profits taxes and introduced an undistributed profits tax on corporate income. The Revenue Act of 1935, dubbed the Wealth Tax, increased the tax on incomes more than $50,000 from 59 percent to 75 percent and more than $5 million to 79 percent, and it also increased estate taxes and corporation taxes. These measures prompted an angry response from business interests and also attracted criticism from those who believed the increased taxes triggered the Recession of 1937-1938. In 1938, Congress repealed the undistributed profits tax and increases in normal taxes introduced in 1936, but they were forced to restore some of these when President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to veto the bill. Eventually a compromise bill retaining certain elements passed without the president’s signature.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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