internal revenue service


  • The IRS originates from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a federal office created in 1862 to assess the nation’s first income tax to fund the American Civil War.

  • [14] Income tax raised much of the money required to finance the war effort; in 1918 a new Revenue Act established a top tax rate of 77%.

  • [43] History of the IRS name[edit] IRS and Department of the Treasury seal on lectern As early as the year 1918, the Bureau of Internal Revenue began using the name “Internal
    Revenue Service” on at least one tax form.

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue service for the United States federal government, which is responsible for collecting U.S. federal taxes and administering
    the Internal Revenue Code, the main body of the federal statutory tax law.

  • [16] In 1952, after a series of politically damaging incidents of tax evasion and bribery among its own employees, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was reorganized under a plan
    put forward by President Truman, with the approval of Congress.

  • Structure[edit] • Commissioner of Internal Revenue o Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement  Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement  Large
    Business and International Division – administers tax laws governing businesses with assets greater than $10 million  Small Business/Self-Employed Division – administers tax laws governing small businesses and self-employed taxpayers  Collection
    – collects delinquent taxes and secures filing of delinquent tax return  Examination – reviews returns to ensure taxpayers have complied with their tax responsibilities  Operations Support – centralized support services  Wage and Investment
    Division – administers tax laws governing individual wage earners  Customer Assistance, Relationships and Education – assist taxpayers in satisfying their tax responsibilities  Return Integrity and Compliance Services – detecting and preventing
    improper refunds  Customer Account Services – processing taxpayer returns  Operations Support – internal management and support services  Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division – administers tax laws governing governmental and tax
    exempt entities  Government Entities/Shares Services – manages, directs, and executes nationwide activities for government entities as well as provides divisional operational support  Employee Plans.

  • In July 1862, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1862, creating the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue
    and enacting a temporary income tax to pay war expenses.

  • [82] In pursuing administrative remedies against the IRS for certain unfair or illegal personnel actions, under federal law an IRS employee may choose only one of the three
    forums below: • NTEU, or • United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), or • United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

  • – administers pension plan tax laws  Exempt Organizations – determining tax exempt status for organizations and regulating the same through examination and compliance checks
     Criminal Investigation Division – investigates criminal violations of tax laws and other related financial crimes  International Operations – conducts international investigations of financial crimes and provides special agent attaches
    in strategic International locations  Operations, Policy, and Support – plans, develops, directs, and implements criminal investigations through regional field offices  Refund and Cyber Crimes – identifying criminal tax schemes and conducting
    cybercrime investigations  Strategy – internal support services  Technology Operations and Investigative Services – management of information technology  Office of Online Services  Return Preparer Office  Office of Professional Responsibility
     Whistleblower Office o Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support  Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support  Chief, Facilities Management and Security Services  Chief Information Officer  Chief Privacy Officer  Chief Procurement
    Officer  Chief Financial Officer  IRS Human Capital Officer  Chief Risk Officer  Chief Diversity Officer  Chief Research and Analytics Officer o Chief of Staff o Chief, Communications and Liaison o National Taxpayer Advocate o Chief Counsel
    o Chief, IRS Independent Office of Appeals Tax collection statistics Summary of collections before refunds by type of return, fiscal year 2021:[66] Number of returns: 208,724,333; Gross collections to the nearest million US$: 4,088,146 New
    York City field office for the IRS For fiscal year 2009, the U.S. Congress appropriated spending of approximately $12.624 billion of “discretionary budget authority” to operate the Department of the Treasury, of which $11.522 billion was allocated
    to the IRS.

  • Since its establishment, the IRS has been responsible for collecting most of the revenue needed to fund the federal government, albeit while facing periodic controversy and
    opposition over its methods, constitutionality, and the principle of taxation generally.

  • Agency overview: Formed: July 1, 1862; 160 years ago[1] (though the name originates from 1918); Type: Revenue service; Jurisdiction: Federal government of the United States;
    Headquarters: Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20224, United States; Employees: 93,654 (2022)[3] (78,661 FTE) (2021)[4]; Annual budget: $13.7 billion (2021)[5]; Agency executive: Douglas O’Donnell,
    Commissioner (Acting) ; Parent agency: Department of the Treasury History American Civil War (1861–65)[edit] George S. Boutwell was the first Commissioner of Internal Revenue under President Abraham Lincoln.

  • For example, the Internal Revenue Manual includes special procedures for processing tax returns from the President and Vice President of the United States.

  • [46] Congress later enacted the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, which mandated that the agency replace its geographic regional divisions with
    units that serve particular categories of taxpayers.

  • [35][36] In September 2014, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen expressed concern over the organization’s ability to handle Obamacare and administer premium tax credits that help
    people pay for health plans from the health law’s insurance exchanges.

  • The IRS decided not to renew contracts to private debt collection agencies, and began a hiring program at its call sites and processing centers across the country to bring
    on more personnel to process collections internally from taxpayers.

  • Those programs provided United States citizens with money toward the purchase of homes, regardless of income tax filings.

  • [93] In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service became embroiled in a political scandal in which it was discovered that the agency subjected conservative or conservative-sounding
    groups filing for tax-exempt status to extra scrutiny.

  • [38] A 2020 Treasury Department audit found the IRS had improved its identity verification system offerings for taxpayers, but was still behind in fully meeting digital identity

  • The Revenue Act of 1862 was passed as an emergency and temporary war-time tax.

  • The IRS also publishes a number of forms for its own internal operations, such as Forms 3471 and 4228 (which are used during the initial processing of income tax returns).

  • [44] In 1953, the name change to the “Internal Revenue Service” was formalized in Treasury Decision 6038.

  • [94] On September 5, 2014, 16 months after the scandal first erupted, a Senate Subcommittee released a report that confirmed that Internal Revenue Service used inappropriate
    criteria to target Tea Party groups, but found no evidence of political bias.

  • The IRS also issues formal pronouncements called Revenue Procedures.

  • [34] According to an inspector general’s report, released in November 2013, identity theft in the United States is blamed for $4 billion worth of fraudulent 2012 tax refunds
    by the IRS.

  • The IRS Oversight Board noted that the decline in enforcement activities has “rais[ed] questions about tax compliance and fairness to the vast majority of citizens who pay
    all their taxes”.

  • Opponents to this change note that the IRS will be handing over personal information to these debt collection agencies, who are being paid between 29% and 39% of the amount

  • A letter ruling is good for the taxpayer to whom it is issued, and gives some explanation of the Service’s position on a particular tax issue.

  • However, the General Accounting Office prepared a report critical of the lack of protection of privacy in TAS, and the project was abandoned in 1978.

  • A bipartisan commission was created with several mandates, among them to increase customer service and improve collections.

  • [87][88][89][90] Testimony was given before a Senate subcommittee that focused on cases of overly aggressive IRS collection tactics in considering a need for legislation to
    give taxpayers greater protection in disputes with the agency.

  • Koskinen predicted the IRS would shut down operations for two days later this year which would result in unpaid furloughs for employees and service cuts for taxpayers.

  • Since the introduction of e-filing, self-paced online tax services have flourished, augmenting the work of tax accountants, who were sometimes replaced.

  • In September 2009, after undercover exposé videos of questionable activities by staff of one of the IRS’s volunteer tax-assistance organizations were made public, the IRS
    removed ACORN from its volunteer tax-assistance program.

  • Congress passed the Taxpayer Bill of Rights III on July 22, 1998, which shifted the burden of proof from the taxpayer to the IRS in certain limited situations.

  • [28] As a result, the IRS implemented a consolidation plan for its paper tax return processing centers, closing five of its ten processing centers between 2003 and 2011.

  • Office of the Taxpayer Advocate[edit] Main article: Office of the Taxpayer Advocate The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, also called the Taxpayer Advocate Service, is an independent
    office within the IRS responsible for assisting taxpayers in resolving their problems with the IRS and identifying systemic problems that exist within the IRS.

  • A copy of the 1913 form can be viewed on the IRS website[13] and shows that only those with annual incomes of at least $3,000 (equivalent to $82,300 in 2021) were instructed
    to file an income tax return.

  • The net tax gap is the gross tax gap less tax that will be subsequently collected, either paid voluntarily or as the result of IRS administrative and enforcement activities;
    it is the portion of the gross tax gap that will not be paid.

  • Following the release of the findings, the IRS stated that it resolved most of the identity theft cases of 2013 within 120 days, while the average time to resolve cases from
    the 2011/2012 tax period was 312 days.

  • [75] As of October 2009, the IRS has ceased using private debt collection agencies.

  • Koskinen also said delays to IT investments of more than $200 million may delay new taxpayer protections against identity theft.

  • [74] In March 2009, the IRS announced that it would no longer outsource the collection of taxpayers debts to private debt collection agencies.

  • However, in 1872, seven years after the war, lawmakers allowed the temporary Civil War income tax to expire.

  • OPR can also take action against tax practitioners for conviction of a crime or failure to file their own tax returns.

  • The temporary measure funded over a fifth of the Union’s war expenses before being allowed to expire a decade later.

  • [12] Post 16th Amendment (1913–present)[edit] Though the constitutional amendment to allow the federal government to collect income taxes was proposed by President Taft in
    1909, the 16th Amendment was not ratified until 1913, just before the start of the First World War.

  • This is partially due to the nature of the individual income tax category, containing taxes collected from working class, small business, self-employed, and capital gains.

  • The Deputy also administers and provides executive leadership for customer service, processing, tax law enforcement and financial management operations.

  • [47] As a result, the IRS now functions under four major operating divisions: • Large Business and International (LB&I) • Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) • Wage and Investment
    (W&I) • Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE) The Large Business & International (LB&I) division was known as the Large and Mid-Size Business division prior to a name change on October 1, 2010.

  • Fraudulent claims were made with the use of stolen taxpayer identification and Social Security numbers, with returns sent to addresses both in the US and internationally.

  • [39] The following year, the IRS announced a new login and ID verification process for several of its online tools, including general account access, Identity Protection (IP)
    PIN setup, and payment plan applications.

  • It is an agency of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States.

  • This granted Congress the specific power to impose an income tax without regard to apportionment among the states by population.

  • It will also enforce the law’s individual mandate, which requires most Americans to hold health insurance.

  • [58] Independent Office of Appeals[edit] Main article: Independent Office of Appeals The Independent Office of Appeals is an independent organization within the IRS that helps
    taxpayers resolve their tax disputes through an informal, administrative process.

  • The IRS initiates the formal regulation process by publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register which announces the proposed regulation, the date
    of the in-person hearing, and the process for interested parties to have their views heard either in person at the hearing in Washington, D.C., or by mail.

  • The Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement serves as the IRS Commissioner’s essential assistant acting on behalf of the commissioner in establishing and enforcing
    tax administration policy and upholding IRS’s mission to provide America’s taxpayers top-quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities.

  • The Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support reports directly to the Commissioner and oversees the IRS’s integrated support functions, working to facilitate economy of scale
    efficiencies and better business practices.

  • The Social Security number was used for taxpayer identification starting in 1965.

  • It copied a relatively new British system of income taxation, instead of trade and property taxation.

  • [29] The agency closed two more centers – one in 2019 and another in 2021 – as e-file use continued to expand.

  • By the end of the war, 10% of Union households had paid some form of income tax, and the Union raised 21% of its war revenue through income taxes.

  • [76] Administrative functions The IRS publishes tax forms which taxpayers are required to choose from and use for calculating and reporting their federal tax obligations.

  • The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits
    programs, including the Affordable Care Act.

  • Following the statutory period provided in the Administrative Procedure Act the Service decides on the final regulations “as is”, or as reflecting changes, or sometimes withdraws
    the proposed regulations.

  • The Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement reports directly to the Commissioner and oversees the four primary operating divisions responsible for the major customer
    segments and other taxpayer-facing functions.


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• This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government.
• This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government.
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