Constitution Daily

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16th Amendment: Income Tax

February 16, 2014 by NCC Staff


As part of the National Constitution Center’s 27 Amendments (In 27 Days) project, each day we will look at a constitutional amendment. Through partnerships with leading scholars and universities, government agencies, media outlets, and more, the National Constitution Center will profile one amendment each day throughout the month of February.


underwoodFull Text of the 16th Amendment


The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.




In 1895 the Supreme Court had declared a federal income tax law unconstitutional. This amendment reversed that decision and authorized a tax on income. Source:  U.S. Senate




1. The Library of Congress Constitution Annotated. Contains a detailed history of the amendment, along with past and recent court cases. Here is a link to the section on the 16th Amendment. Here are explanations from the LOC that are in an online-friendly format from FindLaw:

2. Cornell Legal Information Institute. Includes information from Wex, a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School. Wex entries are collaboratively created and edited by legal experts.


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