Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a U.S. government agency that collects and enforces taxes.

A primary purpose of the agency is to collect individual income taxes and employment taxes. It operates under the authority of the US Department of the Treasury. Additionally, the IRS handles corporate, gift, excise, and estate taxes.

In addition to helping the majority of compliant taxpayers to comply with the tax law, the IRS strives to make sure that the minority that is unwilling to comply pays their fair share.

Abraham Lincoln instituted an income tax in 1862 to pay for the Civil War, which led to the creation of the IRS. US Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional in 1895, after it had been repealed in 1872, revived in 1894, and reinstituted in 1894. The 16th Amendment to the US Constitution reinstated the federal income tax in 1913.

Based in Washington, DC, the IRS is responsible for taxation of all Americans. 

IRS has the authority to collect a lot of information about US citizens, companies, and other institutions. Every year, all taxpayers are required to file tax returns containing detailed financial and personal information.