HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
The Ultimate IRS Quiz
by Staff
The IRS has both supporters and detractors. Some people recognize its importance in maintaining government revenues, while others feel that it is merciless and out to get all your hard-earned cash. No matter what side of the fence you fall on, take this quiz to learn about the IRS.

What was one of the main reasons for the colonists' revolt against the British?

  • the colonists' wanting to have their own land
  • the harsh imposition of the death penalty
  • what they thought were unfair, high taxes

With regard to taxation law, what do Congress and the IRS each do?

  • Congress enacts the tax code while the IRS enforces it.
  • The IRS enacts the tax code while Congress enforces it.
  • Congress proposes tax laws while the IRS opposes them.

Who reportedly said the following words? "Nothing in this world is certain, except death and taxes."

  • George Washington
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Abraham Lincoln

What does "IRS" stand for?

  • International Revenue Service
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Internal Rates Survey

With regard to tax collection, what were the terms under the Articles of Confederation?

  • that taxes were simply a remnant of British rule and were unnecessary
  • that the federal government should tax people, each person according to his means
  • that the federal government could request taxes from states on a voluntary basis

Why did former President Abraham Lincoln institute income taxes?

  • to pay for the Civil War
  • as the right thing to do
  • to provide revenue for the anti-slavery movement

What organization predated the IRS as a tax collection agency?

  • the North American Revenue Fund
  • the American Office for Tax Collection
  • the Bureau of Internal Revenue

In what year was Congress empowered with the ability to levy taxes?

  • 1901
  • 1913
  • 1918

With the government shift toward progressive change before WWI, taxes were used to redirect the wealth of the rich to care for:

  • the welfare of the underprivileged
  • the future of the state
  • the underdog

What did a congressional investigation reveal in the 1920s regarding BIR?

  • that taxes were here to stay
  • that there was a certain level of corruption
  • that the American public was groaning under the burden of heavy taxes

What did BIR do in 1953 in order to present a more positive image of its being for the people?

  • It changed its name to Internal Revenue Service.
  • It introduced incentives and tax breaks.
  • It launched a massive advertising campaign.

What was one of the major breakthroughs in protecting the rights of the average citizen with the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act (1998)?

  • that the IRS had to give advance warning before it collected your taxes
  • that citizens could choose how much tax they wanted to pay
  • that the burden of proof would sometimes fall on the IRS in case of dispute

What were some of the factors that led to BIR's failure?

  • exceedingly high expenses and lack of office space
  • a high staff turnover and favoritism
  • inconsistencies in following the law and rivalry within the organization

How many staff members does the IRS employ nationwide?

  • more than 30,000 people
  • more than 60,000 people
  • more than 100,000 people

How long is the tenure of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue?

  • five years, although the contract is renewable
  • 10 years
  • 12 years

Who advises the IRS on legal matters?

  • the chief counsel
  • the commissioner of Internal Revenue
  • the president

Which nine-member body acts as a check on the IRS's fairness to the taxpayer?

  • the Senate
  • the IRS Oversight Board
  • IRS Citizens' Representative Counsel

What is the function of an IRS audit?

  • to get you to pay more taxes
  • to prove your guilt in withholding taxes
  • to ensure that you paid whatever you owed in taxes

How does the IRS deal with the sheer volume of uncollected tax payments?

  • by working seven days a week to follow up debts
  • by outsourcing under a Private Debt Collection Program
  • by writing off certain debts that can't be collected

What is one of the claims against the Private Debt Collection Program?

  • that it is ineffective
  • that it is corrupt
  • that it costs more than it reels in