U.S. Internal Revenue Service

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United States government branch that collects taxes and enforces the tax laws.

For its first 138 years (1776-1913), the United States did not have an income tax. All government taxes were collected as excise taxs on products, import/export taxs, and revenue taxes on items such as photographs, bank checks, stock certificates, wills, deeds, and other legal documents.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1913 and allowed for the creation of an income tax.

Also see Taxation in the United States.