What Is the IRS?

What Is the IRS?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

The IRS, or the Internal Revenue Service, is a U.S. government agency responsible for the collection of taxes and enforcement of tax laws. Established in 1862 by President Lincoln, the agency is part of the Department of the Treasury. The IRS also oversees various benefits programs and manages the enforcement of tax policies.

Related Questions

1. Who is responsible for running the IRS?

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a 5-year term, heads the IRS. The Commissioner is responsible for administering and enforcing the internal revenue laws.

2. What kind of taxes does the IRS collect?

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The IRS collects several types of taxes, including income tax, payroll tax, corporate tax, estate tax, and excise tax. Income tax, which is paid by individuals, is the largest source of federal revenue.

3. What are the IRS filing requirements for individuals?

The IRS requires most individuals who earn income in the U.S. to file a federal income tax return by April 15 of each year. However, if you file for an extension, the IRS can give you until October 15.

4. What happens if you fail to pay your taxes?

If you don’t pay your taxes or fail to pay the full amount, the IRS can initiate a series of actions to collect the taxes. These actions can include applying fees and penalties, garnishing wages, or even filing a tax lien against your property.

5. What is the role of the IRS in implementing government programs?

The IRS plays a key role in executing major government programs. For example, it was tasked with administering tax credits and stimulus payments as part of government efforts to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.