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H&r free file Publication 80 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Brief History of IRS

Origin
The roots of IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress, in 1862, created the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.

16th Amendment
In 1913, Wyoming ratified the 16th Amendment, providing the three-quarter majority of states necessary to amend the Constitution. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to enact an income tax. That same year, the first Form 1040 appeared after Congress levied a 1 percent tax on net personal incomes above $3,000 with a 6 percent surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

In 1918, during World War I, the top rate of the income tax rose to 77 percent to help finance the war effort. It dropped sharply in the post-war years, down to 24 percent in 1929, and rose again during the Depression. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.

A New Name
In the 50s, the agency was reorganized to replace a patronage system with career, professional employees. The Bureau of Internal Revenue name was changed to the Internal Revenue Service. Only the IRS commissioner and chief counsel are selected by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Today’s IRS Organization
The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 prompted the most comprehensive reorganization and modernization of IRS in nearly half a century. The IRS reorganized itself to closely resemble the private sector model of organizing around customers with similar needs.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 03-Dec-2013

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H&r free file Publication 551 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Reminder IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. H&r free file Tax questions. H&r free file Useful Items - You may want to see: What's New Property acquired from a decedent who died in 2010. H&r free file  Property acquired from a decedent dying in 2010 will no longer have an automatic increase in basis. H&r free file See Publication 4895, Tax Treatment of Property Acquired From a Decedent Dying in 2010, for details. H&r free file Reminder Photographs of missing children. H&r free file  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. H&r free file Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. H&r free file You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. H&r free file Introduction Basis is the amount of your investment in property for tax purposes. H&r free file Use the basis of property to figure depreciation, amortization, depletion, and casualty losses. H&r free file Also use it to figure gain or loss on the sale or other disposition of property. H&r free file You must keep accurate records of all items that affect the basis of property so you can make these computations. H&r free file This publication is divided into the following sections. H&r free file Cost Basis Adjusted Basis Basis Other Than Cost The basis of property you buy is usually its cost. H&r free file You may also have to capitalize (add to basis) certain other costs related to buying or producing the property. H&r free file Your original basis in property is adjusted (increased or decreased) by certain events. H&r free file If you make improvements to the property, increase your basis. H&r free file If you take deductions for depreciation or casualty losses, reduce your basis. H&r free file You cannot determine your basis in some assets by cost. H&r free file This includes property you receive as a gift or inheritance. H&r free file It also applies to property received in an involuntary conversion and certain other circumstances. H&r free file Comments and suggestions. H&r free file   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. H&r free file   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Business Forms and Publications Branch SE:W:CAR:MP:T:B 1111 Constitution Ave. H&r free file NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. H&r free file Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. H&r free file   You can email us at taxforms@irs. H&r free file gov. H&r free file Please put “Publications Comment” on the subject line. H&r free file You can also send us comments from www. H&r free file irs. H&r free file gov/formspubs/, select “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications” under “Information about. H&r free file ”   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. H&r free file Ordering forms and publications. H&r free file   Visit www. H&r free file irs. H&r free file gov/formspubs to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. H&r free file  Internal Revenue Service  1201 N. H&r free file Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. H&r free file   If you have a tax question, visit IRS. H&r free file gov or call 1-800-829-1040. H&r free file We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. H&r free file Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses 523 Selling Your Home 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income 527 Residential Rental Property 530 Tax Information for First-Time Homeowners 535 Business Expenses 537 Installment Sales 544 Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets 550 Investment Income and Expenses 559 Survivors, Executors, and Administrators 587 Business Use of Your Home 946 How To Depreciate Property Form (and Instructions) 706 United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return 706-A United States Additional Estate Tax Return 8594 Asset Acquisition Statement See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms. H&r free file Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications