Below is a link to a very detailed article on Box-Tax paperwork Records.According to Gessen, “Box of cup tax was a term used long ago, as it seems, to refer to the taxes that were levied upon the entire Jewish population not levied individually for each soul (per person or per professions based on assessed valuation), but rather it was an indirect levy. The box tax was applied to items of primary necessity which one cannot do without as well as upon some types of economic activity, and also upon religious articles and religious/civil ceremonial records such as marriage, birth, and death records.”
Originally the goal of the box tax was to be used to help to pay off the debs of the Jewish community to the Catholic clergy. Those debts came about in two ways: on one hand the Catholic clergy levied monetary fees upon the Jews, by employing various pretexts (such as religious disputes, that they forced upon the Jews), on the other hand, the Jewish communities, not having enough funds to pay off excessive state and land levies, had to borrow from the Catholic clergy.
The first recorded documentation about the box tax in Latvi or Lithuania is found in the documents of the Lithuanian Vaas in 1647.
We have many Box Tax records available to us today. These residual records have given us a unique lens into the lives of our ancestors.