Internal Revenue Service - IRS

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Internal Revenue Service - IRS'

A United States government agency that is responsible for the collection and enforcement of taxes. The IRS was established in 1862 by President Lincoln and operates under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury. It is primarily engaged in the collection of individual income taxes and employment taxes, but also handles corporate, gift, excise and estate taxes.

The IRS is sometimes referred to as the "tax man."

BREAKING DOWN 'Internal Revenue Service - IRS'

The IRS is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is an expansive organization that services the taxation of all Americans. In 2006, the IRS processed about 133 million personal income tax returns and almost six million corporate income tax returns, bringing in trillions of dollars of tax revenue.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Substitute Return

    A tax filing that the IRS will create for a taxpayer in order ...
  2. Internal Revenue Code - IRC

    The comprehensive set of tax laws created by the Internat Revenue ...
  3. Federal Unemployment Tax Act - ...

    The original legislation that allows the federal government to ...
  4. Revenue Act Of 1862

    This act increased taxes and implemented the first federal income ...
  5. Excise Tax

    1. An indirect tax charged on the sale of a particular good. ...
  6. Corporate Tax

    A levy placed on the profit of a firm, with different rates used ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    3 Reasons Your 401(k) Is Not Enough for Retirement

    Learn the basic structure of a 401(k), and a number of reasons why it may not be substantial enough to secure an individual's living upon retirement.
  2. Economics

    Can Immigration Reform Help the Economy?

    Learn some of the possible effects, both good and bad, of immigration reform on the economy. These include more jobs and revenue but also lower wages.
  3. Taxes

    Changes In Tax Legislation And Regulation

    Keeping on top of these amendments can help you avoid penalties and take advantage of benefits.
  4. Taxes

    Deducting Disaster: Casualty And Theft Losses

    If you've been a victim, your losses may be deductible. Find out how.
  5. Insurance

    Getting A Job As The Tax Man

    If you'd like the IRS to pay you some money for a change, consider a career working in taxes.
  6. Retirement

    Tax Tips For The Individual Investor

    We give you seven guidelines to help you keep more of your money in your pocket.
  7. Taxes

    How To Appeal Your IRS Audit

    The auditor's review isn't always the last word. Many taxpayers who are audited can successfully appeal their audits and save thousands of dollars.
  8. Taxes

    Surviving The IRS Audit

    Keeping thorough records and knowing the penalties make this experience easier than you'd expect.
  9. Options & Futures

    How To Avoid Taxation On Life Insurance Proceeds

    Decrease the value of your taxable estate and prevent the tax man from getting you one last time.
  10. Taxes

    A Concise History Of Changes In U.S. Tax Law

    We look at how U.S. taxes have changed since their inception.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do alimony and child support factor into my taxable income?

    The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, applies a different tax treatment to alimony than child support. Most forms of alimony ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between AGI (adjusted gross income) and gross income?

    In the United States, individuals pay taxes based on their adjusted gross income, or AGI, rather than their gross income. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Where on my 1040 form do I report AGI (adjusted gross income)?

    On a standard IRS Form 1040, you add up and report adjusted gross income, or AGI, on line 37. Line 37 appears on the first ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is an IRS letter audit / audit by correspondence?

    Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends numerous notices to taxpayers. Letter audit, or audit by correspondence, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What key requirements must be met for the IRS to classify changes or alterations ...

    Qualified leasehold improvement refers to improvement that is done to the interior of a non-residential building by a person ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. In what situations would a loan to an S Corporation from one of its principals be ...

    When a principal of an S corporation pays money into the business, vastly different tax consequences exist depending on whether ... Read Full Answer >>
  7. What is the difference between a state income tax and a federal income tax?

    The United States has a multi-tiered income tax system under which taxes are imposed by federal, state and most local governments. ... Read Full Answer >>
  8. How does the effective tax rate for an individual differ from that of a corporation?

    There is not much difference between the method of calculating or meaning behind the effective tax rate for individuals on ... Read Full Answer >>
  9. What taxes will I pay if I win a lot of money while gambling in Las Vegas?

    Every year, thousands of people travel to gambling hot spots, such as the Nevada cities of Las Vegas and Reno, with the hope ... Read Full Answer >>
  10. What is the difference between federal and state withholding tax?

    You can file your federal taxes by yourself by downloading and printing the forms off the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, ... Read Full Answer >>
  11. Which consumer goods do Americans buy the most of?

    A tangible asset is any asset with a physical form, and includes fixed assets such as machinery, land and buildings. Tangible ... Read Full Answer >>
  12. How does the Federal Government track the business cycle?

    There are several business cycles that impact federal government. Tax revenue is dependent on the business cycles of small ... Read Full Answer >>
  13. Can you realize capital gains on intangible property?

    Capital gains may be realized on some forms of intangible property. Intangible assets range from patents and licenses to ... Read Full Answer >>
  14. What is the relationship between minority interest discount and fair market value?

    Most investors are unwilling to pay fair market value for a minority ownership interest in a business; minority interests ... Read Full Answer >>
  15. What are some examples of debts that I can consolidate?

    Debt can be broken down into secured debts, unsecured debts and government debts, such as taxes, government loans and court-ordered ... Read Full Answer >>
  16. What credit card fees are tax deductible?

    Both individuals and businesses can take advantage of certain tax rules to deduct fees that are incurred through various ... Read Full Answer >>
  17. How can I convert a 401(k) into a Roth 401(k)?

    A traditional 401(k) is converted to a Roth 401(k) using an in-plan Roth conversion. Different plan providers have different ... Read Full Answer >>
  18. Are Social Security benefits taxable?

    Social security benefits are not taxable according to the Internal Revenue Service, as of 2014. There are certain rules that ... Read Full Answer >>
  19. How can I easily get ready for next year's tax season?

    You may one of the lucky ones to come out on top this tax season, but as you will likely agree, it does not mean that you ... Read Full Answer >>
  20. Does everyone have to file a federal tax return?

    This may come as a surprise to many individuals, but not everyone needs to file a federal tax return. According to the IRS, ... Read Full Answer >>
  21. How can I get information about my deceased husband's retirement account if his employer ...

    That is unusual. Contact his employer again and if you are not satisfied with the response, ask to speak with a supervisor ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  2. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  3. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  4. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  5. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  6. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!