Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

To better comprehend the Internal Revenue Service's significance and operation, we will go over the fundamentals of the IRS in great depth.

What is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ?

The Internal Revenue Service, also known as the IRS, is an agency of the US government in charge of tax collection and the implementation of tax laws like the wash sale rule. This service is crucial to the management of taxes in the United States. The President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln established the Internal Revenue Service in 1862. The ultimate goal of this agency, which is overseen by the US Department of the Treasury, is to collect both individual and employment taxes.

Among the responsibilities of the IRS are helping taxpayers with their taxes, pursuing and resolving cases of incorrect or fraudulent tax files, and managing a number of benefit programs, including the Affordable Care Act. Corporate, gift, excise, and estate taxes, as well as taxes on mutual funds and dividends, are all handled by the Internal Revenue Service. The Internal Revenue Service, sometimes known as the IRS, receives close to 90% of all tax returns each year, making it a crucial body for upholding American tax laws.

Key Facts of Internal Revenue Service

  • U.S. federal tax laws are administered and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The Internal Revenue Code, the major section of federal statutory tax legislation, is administered and collected taxes by the IRS.
  • The Internal Revenue Service is in charge of collecting taxes for the country and enforcing the Internal Revenue Code that Congress passed.
  • In 2020, almost 94% of tax returns were submitted online.
  • The IRS' goal to be a just, conciliatory, and fair organization is represented by the logo.

How Does the Internal Revenue Service Work ?

The IRS, which has its main office in Washington, D.C., handles all taxation for businesses and individuals in the United States. It processed more than 240 million income tax returns and other forms for fiscal year 2020 (October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020). The IRS generated more than $3.5 trillion in income over that time and issued more than $736 billion in tax refunds, including $268 billion in reimbursements for the COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact.

Thanks to computer technology, software, and safe internet connections, both individuals and organizations have the option of filing income tax forms electronically. Since the IRS launched the program, the number of income tax returns that use e-file has steadily increased, and the vast majority are now submitted this way. Nearly 94.3% of all individual returns filed during FY 2020 used the e-file option. In 2001, just roughly 40 million of nearly 131 million returns, or little under 31%, made use of it.

As of October 2021, little over 112 million taxpayers chose direct deposit over traditional paper checks to collect their refunds, and the typical direct deposit amount was $2,851.

Although the IRS encourages electronic filing, it does not support any specific platform or filing software.

History of Internal Revenue Service

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a federal agency established in 1862 to collect the country's first income tax to pay for the American Civil War, is where the IRS got its start. Over a fifth of the Union's war costs were covered by the short-term measure, which was then allowed to expire ten years later. The Bureau of Internal Revenue was founded in 1913 after the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which permits Congress to impose an income tax, was enacted. After changing its name to the Internal Revenue Service in 1953, the institution experienced a number of reforms and reorganizations over the years, most notably in the 1990s.

Since its founding, the IRS has been in charge of raising the majority of the funds required to support the federal government, despite occasional controversy and resistance regarding its practices, constitutionality, and the fundamental idea of taxation. The agency has suffered with budget cuts and low morale in recent years. Including a fall of more than 25% in its enforcement team, it saw a 15% loss in its employment as of 2018. Nevertheless, the IRS processed more than 245 million tax returns in the 2017 fiscal year.

Duties of Internal Revenue Service

The government agency responsible for upholding the tax laws passed by Congress is the IRS. The agency's responsibilities include :
  • Collecting and processing tax returns submitted by both individuals and businesses.
  • Ensuring that you pay any owed taxes.
  • Refunds if you paid too much tax during the year.
  • Monitoring specific retirement plans.
  • Investigating criminal activity.
  • Helping you in a nice, supportive manner with all of these challenges.

What is the Mission of Internal Revenue Service ?

Understanding the Internal Revenue Service's mission is crucial for comprehending both its operations and significance. The IRS's mandate is as follows :
  • The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) major goal is to give American taxpayers top-notch service by helping them understand their tax obligations and fulfill those obligations on time.
  • The IRS's job is to ensure that the minority of non-compliant taxpayers does not pay their fair share of taxes while also assisting the majority of tax law-abiding taxpayers.
  • The IRS's mission statement outlines its purpose and the public's expectations for how the organization should operate.
  • In the United States, it is expected of the taxpayers to comply with the tax laws once they have been passed by the Congress. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to comprehend the law and fulfill their tax duties. While the IRS's job is to assist taxpayers with these tax laws.

Who Owns the Internal Revenue Service ?

The Internal Revenue Service is a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury and views itself as a "tax administrator" who reports to the Secretary of the Treasury. The IRS thus works for the Treasury rather than being "owned" by it.

The IRS has asserted on numerous occasions that it is a government entity even though Congress did not create it through an act. The Supreme Court's decision in Donaldson v. the United States, which was decided in 1971, is used in support of the claim that the IRS is permitted to administer internal revenue statutes as an agency would. The IRS further emphasizes that the Secretary of the Treasury is given complete authority under the U.S. Code to enforce tax laws and designate an organization to do so.

IRS Leadership

The IRS Commissioner, who serves as the agency's head, is chosen by the President. The appointment procedure, which has been in existence since the 1950s, requires Senate approval. Commissioners manage all aspects of the IRS's operations, including processing tax returns, enforcing tax laws, and collecting taxes. They are appointed to five-year terms.

Significance of the Internal Revenue Service Logo

The emblem is meant to represent "justice, fairness, honesty, peace, and conciliation," according to the IRS. Three pictures are combined into one on the IRS logo :

Eagle : 
Represents the United States (national bird).

Olive branch : 
Represents mediation and peace.

Scales : 
Represents fairness and justice.

The Internal Revenue Service and Audits

The IRS audits a specific subset of tax returns each year as part of its enforcement function. The organization examined 509,917 tax forms for FY 2020. 0.63% of individual income tax returns and 1.0% of corporation tax returns make up this total. Approximately 72.6% of IRS audits took place by letter, and 27.4% took place on the ground.

The volume of audits peaked in 2010, then has been progressively declining since since. Even fewer audits should take place as the amount of money set out for tax enforcement has decreased by around 30% between 2010 and 2020.

Although there are many different reasons for an IRS audit, certain circumstances can make one more likely. The main one is increased income. For all individual income tax returns in 2020, the audit rate was 0.63%. However, it was 9.8% for someone who earned over $10 million.

Other warning signs for an audit include under reporting income, over claiming deductions, making abnormally big charitable contributions in comparison to income, and claiming losses on rental real estate. Each year, a variety of factors affect who is subject to an IRS audit and who is not.

Paying Your Taxes to IRS

You can use a debit or credit card, an electronic transfer of funds from your bank account, or both to pay your taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Other options include making an electronic money withdrawal when you e-file your return or using a same-day bank wire. You can use the Electronic Federal Tax Paying System if you are a business or are making a sizable payment, but you must first enroll in it.

You have alternatives if you choose not to pay online. A personal check, cashier's check, or money order can be mailed in. Make it payment to "U.S. Treasury" and make sure it includes the information listed below:
  • Name and address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number or employer identification number
  • Tax year
  • Related tax form or notice number
If you choose, you may pay in cash, but never send cash through the mail. Instead, schedule a face-to-face appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center by contacting (844) 545-5640 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Call 30 to 60 days before to the day you want to make a payment.

The following retailers accept cash payments from customers:, 7-Eleven, ACE Cash Express, Casey's General Stores, CVS Pharmacy, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Walgreens, Pilot Flying J, Speedway, Kum & Go, Stripes, Royal Farms, GoMart, and Kwik Trip. You must first request an email payment number from the IRS, which you must submit when making your payment. The maximum reward is $1,000 per time.

How to Contact with the Internal Revenue Service ?

There are many ways to get in contact with the IRS.

By Mail :

Your state of residence and whether you anticipate receiving a tax refund will influence the address you should use if you are mailing in your tax return. The IRS website contains a list. On the IRS website, there is a list of mailing addresses based on whether you are sending an application or a payment.

By Phone or Online :

Individuals who want assistance can phone (800) 829-1040. Eastern time (ET) for anyone who need assistance. However, getting in touch with a real person can be difficult. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS website for online help with a range of questions.

In Person :

At your nearby IRS office, you can also call to make a personal appointment. You can enter your ZIP code on the IRS website's locate page to get the office's address and phone number.

What is an IRS Account ?

One of many helpful online resources that contribute to the amazing rise in visitors to the well-liked agency website is the online account provided by the Internal Revenue Service. Visits to have increased 24 percent already this year compared to this time last year.

Individual taxpayers can access the for essential information they need to file, pay, or track their tax payments. Furthermore, taxpayers may :
  • See how much they owe.
  • Create an online payment agreement or make a payment online.
  • Search through their tax records.
  • Examine their payment history for the previous 18 months.
  • View the most recent tax return they filed and its important information.
Taxpayers must sign up for Secure Access, the IRS' two-factor authentication system, in order to access their information online. Sensitive information is thoroughly protected by this identity-proofing method. The login and password of a taxpayer who has previously registered for Secure Access to Get Transcript Online or Get an IP PIN may be used. Before beginning registration, taxpayers should examine the Secure Access procedure.

The IRS encourages people to visit in addition to the to view the many other self-service tools and beneficial resources available for individuals, corporations, and tax professionals. The IRS2Go mobile app and services like "Where's My Refund?" for instance, continue to be the finest ways to track down a tax refund. Taxpayers don't need to check this tool more frequently because it is only updated once per day at most.

Taxpayers are not contacted by the IRS to request personal or financial information via email, text message, or social media. Requests for PIN numbers, passwords, or other such access details for credit cards, banks, or other financial accounts fall under this category.

How to Create IRS Account ?

Here is how new users begin :
  • On the home page of, click View Your Account.
  • The Create or View Your Account button should be chosen.
  • Click on Create Account
Pass the authentication for Secure Access. The identification of the taxpayer is confirmed by a thorough process. To proceed, they must be able to prove their identification.

Create a profile :

Returning customers can log in to other IRS online services like Get Transcript and Get An Identity Protection PIN, if necessary, using the same username and password once the initial login process is through. Multi-factor authentication is used to secure all password-protected IRS online resources for taxpayers.

Online Tools for Tax Professionals

With the help of e-Services, tax experts, reporting agents, the mortgage sector, payers, and others can conduct business with the IRS online. To access accounts, all users of e-Services must agree to the User Agreement.

Use Tax Pro Account or submit Forms 2848 and 8821 for online Power of Attorney (POA) and Tax Information Authorization (TIA) requests.

New Options for Sign-In

The IRS credential service provider, which is now required for new users to register or check in with E-Services, has moved to a new sign-in system. Existing e-Services users don't need to do anything right now, they can continue to login in with an existing IRS username.

Beginning on July 24, 2022, the E-Services Application will prompt all users to accept the terms of agreement when they first sign in.

Assurance Testing System (ATS) Questionnaire

For each form they are evaluating, software engineers must log into their e-Services account and submit surveys. You must be a Principal or user granted Principal Consent authority, a Responsible Official or Delegate Users with Add & Change Software Package Information authority granted, or an Authorized User on a completed IRS e-File application.

Tax Transcript Information

The format and distribution guidelines for tax transcripts have been modified by the IRS. Authorized tax practitioners can use the Transcript Delivery System to view client transcripts or ask to have specific transcripts sent to their secure e-Services email, where they can be retrieved. Reminder, Your transcript can only be viewed in your mailbox for three days. Un-viewed transcripts can be accessed for a period of 30 days. Study up on the new transcript guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the Internal Revenue Service established?
Abraham Lincoln, who was president at the time, enacted an income tax in order to finance the Civil War, which led to the establishment of the IRS. In 1872, the tax was eliminated; it was reinstated in 1894; then, in 1895, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional. The federal income tax was reestablished by the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913.

How can I speak with the IRS directly?
Call 800-829-1040 to speak with an IRS customer care agent about correcting any mistakes made by the agency. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, customer service representatives are accessible Monday through Friday.

How can I log in my IRS account?
At, you can securely log in to access your federal tax account.

Where can I find my IRS account?
At, you can securely log in to access your federal tax account. View your balance, payment history, tax records, and other important data from your most recent tax return as it was originally filed, along with the amount you owe.

Is opening an IRS account secure?
Individual taxpayers can examine detailed information about their federal tax account by creating an IRS online account, which is safe and simple to do.

Can I verify my identity for Internal Revenue Service online?
Taxpayers must upload a photo of an identity document, such as a driver's licence, state ID, or passport, to in order to authenticate their identity. Using a smartphone or a PC with a webcam, they will also need to take a selfie. They can securely access IRS online services after having their identity confirmed.

How can I change or update my bank account information with the IRS?
Your bank account receives payments from the IRS such as tax refunds and stimulus checks. By correctly completing that section of your tax return form, you can modify your routing or account number when you file your return. Call 800-829-1040 if your return has already been submitted.

How can I file my tax return the best way possible?
In 2020, 94.3% of taxpayers filed their taxes electronically, which is the recommended method. You can still mail in a paper return, but doing so will cause any refunds to take longer to arrive.

How likely is it that the Internal Revenue Service will audit my taxes?
For individual tax returns in 2020, the audit rate was 0.63%. But if you earn a lot of money, your chances improve. For those making $10 million or more, the rate in 2020 was 9.8%. However, there is no single characteristic that will guarantee that the IRS will audit you.

How can I contact a representative at the IRS?
Call the number listed on the notification if you received a tax notice and need to speak with someone about it. You can reach an IRS customer care at 800-829-1040 if you have any further questions. Call 800-829-4059 if you need assistance if you have hearing loss (TTY/TDD). Call 800-829-1954 to find out the status of your refund. At your local IRS office, you can also arrange a face-to-face consultation with a representative.

Can I grant another person access to my online account?
No, everyone else should not log into the taxpayer's account. Never give anyone else your credentials.

How do I change my email and mailing address?
Your online account's Profile Page allows you to modify your email address and choose whether or not to receive paper notices. You can mail Form 8822 to alter or amend your mailing address, or you can learn more about address changes.

Can a customer service representative from the IRS log into my online account?
Customer service agents for the IRS are unable to access your online account. Additionally, their perspectives differ from those displayed in internet accounts.

How do I pay my taxes?
The most common method of paying taxes is by electronic transfer, either through a debit or credit card or straight from your bank account. However, you can also pay in person with cash if you like, along with via check or money order.