Internal Revenue Services (IRS)

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Introduction to Internal Revenue Service

Short for Internal Revenue Service, IRS functions as an intelligence agency in two respects. Firstly, through its intelligence division, it both collects general intelligence about possible tax violators in addition to investigating about the allegations of tax fraud so as to secure evidence for criminal prosecution. Secondly, the IRS accrues vast amounts of info about the personal and financial affairs of American citizens from the tax returns and supporting info which is submitted voluntarily by the Americans.

The headquarters office of the IRS is located at Washington, D.C area with most of its computer programming being performed in Maryland. Currently, five service centers are being operated around the country – Austin, TX; Fresno, CA; Cincinnati, OH; Kansas City, MO; and Ogden, UT – which receive the returns sent through mail. These centers perform the actual tax processing. Moreover, the IRS also operates three computer centers around the country – in Michigan, Detroit, Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Memphis (Tennessee).

Structure of the IRS

The IRS or the Internal Revenue Service is a bureau or division of the US Department of Treasury. The IRS itself is divided into four divisions, each featuring its individual functions. Cases begin with the first division, which is the examination division, and will pass to other divisions as suitable.

These divisions include:

  • The examination function

This function determines whether taxes in addition to those reported by the taxpayer are due and owing and, if so, sets in process procedures for assessment and collection of the tax. This function is commonly known as the IRS audit function.

  • The Appeals function

The appeals function also comes into play once certain actions have been taken by the IRS for the collection of outstanding tax liabilities and, in some cases, when a petition is filed by the taxpayer. In some cases, the taxpayer must initiate the appeals process while in others this is done by the IRS.

  • The Collection function

As implied by the name, this function involves the IRS attempting to collect taxes which were assessed.

  • The Criminal Investigation function

Cases involving tax misinterpretations or fraud might be referred as the criminal investigation function. 

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