The Ultimate IRS Quiz

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

One of the main reasons was what they thought were unnecessarily unfair and high taxes.

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

The job of Congress is to enact the tax code. The IRS has the job of enforcing it.

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

The quote is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of America's founding fathers.

What does "IRS" stand for?

The IRS is the Internal Revenue Service, the tax collection body for the U.S. federal government.

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

According to the Articles of Confederation, the federal government could request taxes from states on a voluntary basis only.

Why did former President Abraham Lincoln institute income taxes?

Lincoln instituted the first U.S. income taxes in order to pay for the Civil War.

What organization predated the IRS as a tax collection agency?

The name of the organization was the Bureau of Internal Revenue or BIR, for short.

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

The year was 1913. It was when the 16th Amendment was passed, which made tax collection legal.

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

Taxes were now used to care for the welfare of society's not-so-rich.

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

The congressional investigation into BIR's activities revealed a certain level of corruption within the organization.

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

BIR changed its name in that year to promote its new, more positive image: Internal Revenue Service.

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

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act made a breakthrough for citizens' rights by stating that the burden of proof would now fall on the IRS (not on the citizen) in certain cases of dispute.

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

Some of the factors were a high staff turnover and favoritism on the part of the staff.

How many staff members does the IRS employ nationwide?

The IRS, estimated to be the largest federal bureaucracy, employs close to 120,000 people nationwide.

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

The position is usually for a total of five years, although the contract may be renewed.

Who advises the IRS on legal matters?

The chief counsel has the job of advising the IRS on all legal matters.

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

The name of this nine-member body is the IRS Oversight Board. Oversight?

What is the function of an IRS audit?

An audit is the means by which the IRS ensures that you paid whatever you owed. By extension, it also keeps most people fairly honest for fear that they'll be chosen for an audit.

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

The IRS has so many unpaid taxes to deal with that it has to outsource to private companies under a Private Debt Collection Program.

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

One of the claims is that it costs more money than it successfully reels in.

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About This Quiz

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.

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