The Internal Revenue Service as we know it today is an enormous division of our government, fraught with bureaucracy and prone to errors that often lead to innocent taxpayers seeking the defense of a criminal tax attorney. And while paying taxes in America is a reality that every individual and business must come to accept, the complicated tax codes and sometimes controversial collection practices of the IRS has made it one of the most widely reviled institutions in our country. But what are the origins of the IRS, and how did it become what it is today?

The need for a tax agency came in 1862, when a 3% income tax was enacted in order to raise money for the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln, along with Congress, established the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Civil War income tax expired in 1872, but the need for public funding for infrastructure such as roads and railroads persisted. In 1913, under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, the Sixteenth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution. This provided for the government to collect taxes from those earning $3,000 (almost $70,000 by 2016 standards) or more. In fact, the infamous 1040 form made its first appearance in 1913.

Technological advances allowed for the IRS to improve processing and organization over the years as our nation continued to grow and develop. Today, the IRS process 234 million tax returns and collects upwards of $2.4 trillion from businesses and individuals every year, and is also responsible for carrying out certain parts of the Affordable Care Act. With all of the procedures, codes, and numbers the IRS is responsible for, it’s not surprising that many businesses become the subject of an IRS criminal investigation. Criminal tax attorney Jeffrey Anton Collins of Tax Law Offices serves businesses and individuals in Wheaton, IL and the rest of the Chicago area. If you’ve been erroneously or unfairly targeted by the IRS, contact us today for the specialized legal defense you need.