Abraham Lincoln gave us federal income tax. Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act in 1861, which imposed the first-ever federal income tax. When the modern federal income tax was established, lawmakers set March 1 as the looming deadline. In 1836, the federal government of the United States had a tax surplus of around $30 million. To help offset some of these drawbacks, many EU countries are looking at introducing a cow tax to tax producers for cow flatulence.