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Internal Revenue Service

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury created by Congress in 1789 to assess and collect domestic or “internal” taxes. These include federal taxes on goods and services, income taxes, and corporate taxes, as well as gift and estate taxes. The service is headed by a commissioner of internal revenue appointed by the president. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., and it has 7 regional and 58 district offices. IRS rules are based on the Internal Revenue Code, a huge compilation of tax laws passed by Congress and interpreted through regulations issued by the IRS. As administered by the agency, the tax system has been called inequitable and inefficient by some critics, who claim that IRS regulations are intricate, confusing, and frequently not fully understood even by the IRS itself. To gain the full benefit of the tax laws, taxpayers must often buy the services of expert tax accountants.

See also: Taxation.

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