Crack Tax
America (Tennessee)
Between 2005 and 2009, drug dealers were subjected to taxes on the sale of illegal substances.

This law mandated that those who possessed illegal drugs were legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto their contraband. Failure to do so resulted in a fine and/or criminal sanction.

The tax was levied per gram of illegal drugs as follows:

*US$3.50 (A$3.40) for marijuana

*US$50 (A$48) for cocaine

*US$200 (A$194) for meth and crack cocaine

Dealers were to pay anonymously at the state revenue office. Several American states trialled this but not a whole lot of money was collected.


Fat Tax
Denmark
In 2011, Denmark brought in a "fat tax" on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy eating habits.

The Nordic country taxes the saturated fat in a product at a rate of 16 kroner ($A3.00) per kilogram.

Denmark, like some other European countries, already has higher fees on sugar, chocolates and soft drinks but Linnet Juul, food director at Denmark's Confederation of Industries, said he believes the Nordic country is the first in the world to tax fatty foods.


Flush Tax
America (Maryland)
Homeowners and business are charged for producing wastewater.

A tax of US$2.50 (A$2.4) is added every month to the sewer bills of residents hooked up to treatment systems and an annual charge of US$30 (A$29) to homeowners with their own septic systems.


Sex Tax
Germany
Prostitution is legal in Germany - but it is heavily taxed.

Prostitutes have to pay income taxes and even have to charge VAT (GST), for their services, which is then paid to the tax office.

While it's fairly easy to collect a "sex tax" from brothels, "sauna clubs," and other sex purveying establishments, it's trickier to make sure freelance streetwalkers pay up. But authorities in the German city of Bonn have found a way to fix this issue. The city now requires street prostitutes to pay a vending machine, similar to a parking metre, and collect a ticket before they go about their business.


Death Tax
America (Seattle)
The wheels of government have to be funded somehow.

Since January 1 2011, King County, which includes Seattle, has imposed a $50 (A$48) fee to report a death to the Medical Examiner's Office. The paperwork and the cash is required up front before the office will grant the needed permission allowing burial or cremation.

The so called "death tax" is estimated to bring in around $US650,000 (A$632,326) in government revenue as a result of the areas' 13,000 demises a year.


Mooncake Tax
China
Mooncakes were traditionally given out during the Mid-Autumn Festival (historically a time of moon worship) to friends and family to cement relationships.

In recent times the tradition has found its way into business, with those in companies offering the cakes as gifts to colleagues, customers and employers and party officials.

Where bakers saw a mooncake explosion, government officials saw yuan signs - and launched an inspection of more than 3,100 companies in 2010, slapping 30 billion yuan (A$4.6 billion) worth of back taxes on gifted mooncakes and coupons.



Bagel Tax
America (New York)
In 2010, New York cracked down on its enforcement of the tax on prepared food, specifically targeting a New York classic: bagels.

If you buy a whole bagel and take it out of the shop to eat, it is exempt from tax.

However, if you purchase that same bagel, but eat it at the bagel shop, businesses must charge sales tax on the purchase price. The act of slicing the bagel makes your bagel purchase into a taxable transaction. As a result, New Yorkers are paying approximately 8 to 9 cents (US) more per bagel.


Witch Tax
Romania
Self-declared witches in Romania are slapped with 16% tax as well as health and pension payments.

In early 2011, the cash strapped Romanian government was looking for new ways to raise revenue and decided that witches, astrologers, fortune tellers and embalmers needed to be included under the county"s labour code.

The witches were understandably unhappy about their practice being taxed after centuries of tax dodging and launched a campaign against the government. Mandrake plants were hurled to bring "evil" on Romania"s president and government.


Tattoo Tax
America (Arkansas)
Tattoo enthusiasts probably weren't overly happy when the state imposed an additional 6 per cent sales tax on tattooing and body piercing in 2002.

The tax is still payable even if you get a tattoo of the American flag.