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Encyclopedia > U.S. Internal Revenue Service

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the United States government agency that collects taxes and enforces the tax laws. It is a part of the Department of the Treasury. Seal of the Internal Revenue Service from Publication 1 at [1]. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... An agency is a department of a local or national government responsible for the oversight and administration of a specific function, such as a customs agency or a space agency. ... A tax is a compulsory charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state or a functional equivalent of a state (e. ... Tax law is the codified system of laws that describes government levies on economic transactions, commonly called taxes. ... The United States Department of the Treasury is a Cabinet department, a treasury, of the United States government established by an Act of U.S. Congress in 1789 to manage the revenue of the United States government. ...


In 1862, during the Civil War, President Lincoln and Congress created the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The agency created to enforce these taxes was named for the internal revenue they would collect in contrast to U.S. government institutions that collected external revenue through duties and tariffs. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. In 1894, Congress revived the income tax, but the following year the Supreme Court ruled, in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co., that taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest, rents and the like were unapportioned direct taxes on property, and therefore unconstitutional. The American Civil War was fought in North America from 1861 until 1865 between the United States of America – forces coming mostly from the 23 northern states of the Union – and the newly-formed Confederate States of America, which consisted of 11 southern states that had declared their secession. ... The President of the United States (often abbreviated POTUS) is the head of state of the United States. ... Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... Seal of the Congress. ... The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, or IRS Commissioner, is the head of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... An act of war - the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan during World War II War is a state of widespread conflict between states, organisations, or relatively large groups of people, which is characterised by the use of violent, physical force between combatants or upon civilians. ... // Ethics Duty is a term loosely applied to any action (or course of action) which is regarded as morally incumbent, apart from personal likes and dislikes or any external compulsion. ... A tariff is a tax placed on imported and/or exported goods, sometimes called a customs duty. ... The supreme court in some countries, provinces, and states, is the highest court in that jurisdiction and functions as a court of last resort whose rulings cannot be appealed. ... Pollock v. ... In finance, a capital gain is profit that is realized from the sale of an asset that was previously purchased at a lower price. ... A dividend is the distribution of profits to a companys shareholders. ... In finance, interest has three general definitions. ... Minge. ...


In 1913, however, the states ratified the 16th Amendment, which removed the restrictions on income taxes. In 1918, to finance World War I, the top rate of the income tax rose to 77%. During the post-war years, the top rate was lowered to 24%, but rose again during the Great Depression. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments, ostensibly as an emergency measure. Amendment XVI (the Sixteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution, authorizing income taxes in their present form, was ratified on February 3, 1913. ... World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machineguns, and poison gas. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons like the atom bomb World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th-century conflict that engulfed much of the globe... Payroll withholding promotes voluntary compliance with the tax laws for the majority of the US population. ...


In the 1950s, career professional employees replaced the patronage system. Currently, only the IRS Commissioner and Chief Counsel are selected by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Bureau of Internal Revenue name also was changed to the Internal Revenue Service to emphasize service to taxpayers. It is organized into four divisions: Large & Mid-Size Business (LMSB), Small Business / Self-Employed (SB/SE), Wage and Investment (W&I), and Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE). Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. ...

The main headquarters of the IRS is located at 1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... In Washington, D.C., Constitution Avenue is a major east-west street running just north of the United States Capitol in the citys Northwest and Northeast quadrants. ... Washington, D.C. is the capital city of the United States of America. ... In Washington, D.C., Constitution Avenue is a major east-west street running just north of the United States Capitol in the citys Northwest and Northeast quadrants. ... Washington, D.C. is the capital city of the United States of America. ...


Summary of Collections before Refunds by Type of Return, Fiscal Year 2003:

Type of Return Number of Returns Gross Collections (Millions of US$)
Individual Income Tax 130,728,360 987,209
Corporate Income Tax 5,890,821 194,146
Employment Taxes 29,916,033 695,976
Gift Tax 287,456 1,939
Excise Taxes 812,483 52,771
Estate Tax 91,679 20,888

In fiscal year 2004, the IRS collected $43.1 billion in enforcement revenue. This is $5.5 billion or a 15 percent increase from fiscal 2003. The United States dollar, or American dollar, is the official currency of the United States. ...


Recently, the IRS has altered its policies. The current Service plus Enforcement equals Compliance motto has led to more investigations of abusive tax schemes.


See also

Taxation in the United States is a complex system which may involve payments to at least four different levels of government: Local government, possibly including one or more of municipal, township, district and county governments Regional entities such as school, utility and transit districts State government Federal government The federal... A non-profit organization (often called non-profit org or simply non-profit or not-for-profit) is an organization whose primary objective is something other than the generation of profit. ... Laws regarding non-profit organizations in the United States of America relate to taxation, the special problems of an organization which does not have profit as its primary motivation, and prevention of charitable fraud. ... 501C3 refers to section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code that exempts payment of federal income taxes for groups that are organized for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes. ... A 527 group, named after a section of the United States tax code, is a tax-exempt organization that is created primarily to influence the nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates for public office. ...

Further reading

  • Davis, Shelley L., and Mary Matalin. Unbridled Power: Inside the Secret Culture of the IRS. New York: Harper Collins, (ISBN 0887308295)
  • Johnston, David Cay. Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else. New York: Portfolio, 2003. (ISBN 1591840198)
  • Rossotti, Charles O. Many Unhappy Returns: One Man's Quest To Turn Around The Most Unpopular Organization In America. Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press, 2005. (ISBN 1591394414)
  • Roth, William V., Jr., and William H. Nixon. The Power to Destroy. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999. (ISBN 0871137488)

David Cay Johnston is an investigative journalist for The New York Times now focusing on taxes. ... Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else (ISBN 1591840198) is a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston that argues that the American tax system has been tilted to supplement the incomes and... William Victor Roth, Jr. ...

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