Internal Revenue Service

Internal Revenue Service
IRS
Logo of the Internal Revenue Service.svg
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1862 (1862-07-01)[1] (though the name originates from 1918)
TypeRevenue service
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersInternal Revenue Service Building
1111 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20224
United States[2]
Employees74,454 (FTE) (2019)[3]
Annual budget$11.303 billion (2019)[4]
Agency executive
Parent agencyDepartment of the Treasury
Websitewww.irs.gov

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue service for the United States federal government, which is responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code, the main body of the federal statutory tax law. It is part 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. 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.[5]

IRS Building in Washington D.C.
IRS location sign on Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C.

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. The temporary measure provided over a fifth of the Union's war expenses before being allowed to expire a decade later. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified authorizing Congress to impose a tax on income, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue was established. In 1953, the agency was renamed the Internal Revenue Service, and in subsequent decades underwent numerous reforms and reorganizations, most significantly in the 1990s.

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. In recent years the agency has struggled with budget cuts and reduced morale.[6] As of 2018, it saw a 15 percent reduction in its workforce, including a decline of more than 25 percent of its enforcement staff.[7] Nevertheless, during the 2017 fiscal year, the agency processed more than 245 million tax returns.

  1. ^ "Office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Created by an act of Congress, July 1, 1862)". www.irs.gov. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Internal Revenue Service. "The Agency, its Mission and Statutory Authority". www.irs.gov. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Congressional Budget Justification and Annual Performance Report and Plan Fiscal Year 2020" (PDF). Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  4. ^ "Written Testimony of Commissioner Charles P. Rettig before the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on the IRS Budget and 2019 filing season April 9, 2019 | Internal Revenue Service". www.irs.gov.
  5. ^ "Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions – Internal Revenue Service". www.irs.gov.
  6. ^ "ACTC letter to Congressional-Leadership" (PDF). www.actconline.org.
  7. ^ "IRS Nominee Says He's Never Had a Client Under Audit for a Decade". Bloomberg.com. June 28, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2020.

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