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Hierarchy of Tax Authorities

U.S. Constitution Provisions Related to Taxation

Provisions in the U.S. Constitution Related to Taxes

Location

Popular Name

Tax Related Provision

Art. 1, Sec. 8,

Clause 1

General Welfare

Clause

Authorizes Congress to impose and collect taxes.

Art. 1, Sec. 2,

Clause 3

Three-Fifths Clause

Requires direct taxes to be apportioned according to population. (The U.S. Supreme Court held that federal income tax is a direct tax.)

16th Amendment

Income Tax Amendment

Allows income taxation without apportionment and specifically provides that Congress has the power to collect taxes on income from whatever source derived.

Art. 1, Sec. 7,

Clause 1

Origination Clause

Requires tax revenue bills originate in the House of Representatives

Art. 1, Sec. 10,

Clause 2

Import/Export Clause

Prohibits state duties on imports and exports without the consent of Congress.

Art. 1, Sec. 8

Clause 3

Commerce Clause

Prohibits state taxation that burdens interstate or foreign commerce.

5th Amendment

and 

14th Amendment

Due Process Clause

and

Equal Protection Clause

Establishes limits on federal and state taxing authority—prohibits deprivation of property without due process; guarantees equal protection of the law.

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