What is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? – Internal Revenue Service Phone Number

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), is a body that administers the federal tax laws that Congress enacts. The IRS has the right of performing three main functions. These functions are – tax return processing, taxpayer service, and enforcement.

Also, the IRS conducts criminal investigations. They also oversee tax-exempt agencies and qualified retirement plans.Internal Revenue Service

How the Internal Revenue Service Works

The IRS services the taxation of all American individuals and companies and is headquartered in Washington, DC.

Individuals and corporations have the option of filing income returns electronically, owing to computer technology, software programs, and secure internet connections.

Ever since the IRS began the program, the number of income taxes that use e-file has steadily grown. Currently, the overwhelming majority file income taxes this way.

Apart from collecting tax, the IRS is also in charge of managing various tax credits and subsidies for low-and-middle-income families, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, and education tax credits, which help put you or your children through college.

Internal Revenue Service Phone Number

IRS Hours of Telephone Service:

Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time).  The best times to call during April are before 10:00 a.m., and Monday is the heaviest traffic day. (800) 829-1040

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Who Owns the IRS?

The Internal Revenue Service agency is a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury. IRS  considers itself a “tax administrator”.

They work under the direction of the secretary of the Treasury. So instead of being “owned” by the Treasury, the IRS rather, “works for” the Treasury.

According to the argument put forward by the IRS, even though Congress did not create the IRS through an act, it is a government agency. The IRS cites the 1971 Supreme Court case Donaldson v. the United States.

In that case, the court ruled that the IRS is allowed to administer internal revenue laws as an agency would. By this, The IRS is of the opinion, that the U.S. Code grants the Secretary of the Treasury full authority in enforcing tax law and to appoint an agency to do so.

IRS Leadership

The IRS commissioner, who is the chief executive of the IRS, is appointed by the President. The Senate has to approve the appointee. However, this process has been in place since the 1950s. Commissioners have the mandate of serving five-year terms.

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Also, they are responsible for overseeing all operations of the IRS. They handle processing tax returns and enforcing tax laws to the collection of tax.

When Did Federal Income Tax Start?

The income tax phenomenon has its roots in the Civil War. The income tax was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln and he also created the “Commissioner of Internal Revenue”.  This was in 1862 to raise revenue for the war effort.

The first income tax was 3% on incomes from $600 to $10,000, and 5% on incomes over $10,000.

However, that tax didn’t last long. It was repeated 10 years later in 1872. However, Congress brought back the income tax 22 years later.

This was through the Wilson Tariff Act of 1894 even though that was not permanent. Also, One year later, the Supreme Court ruled that the tax was not lawful.

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In 1913,  three-quarters of Americans formed a majority to amend the constitution. This was what allowed the government to impose an income tax.

Then, the 16th Amendment was ratified. The first Form 1040 tax return came on board a year later. The first personal income tax was 1% for incomes above $3,000 and 6% for incomes of more than $500,000. . . . .

When World War 1 happened and another war effort, the top tax rate, was hiked by Congress to an incredible 77%. Here, it stayed for 11 years. The rate dropped to 24% by 1929. It increases again in response to the Great Depression.

What is the Significance of the IRS Logo?

The IRS logo encompasses three different images in one:

Eagle – The Eagle image, represents the United States (the national bird is the bald eagle)

Olive Branch – The olive branch signifies peace and mediation.

Scales – The scale image, signifies justice and fairness.

So, in summary, the IRS aim is for the symbol to express “justice, fairness, honesty, peace, and conciliation”.