A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 19, 2011
Infernal Revenue Service (Internal Revenue Service or IRS nickname)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collects revenue for the United States federal government. The Bureau of Internal Revenue was created after passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913, allowing Congress to levy an income tax. In 1953, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was renamed the Internal Revenue Service.

The nickname “Bureau of Infernal Revenue” has been cited in print since at least 1949. The nickname “Infernal Revenue Service” has been cited in print since at least 1956.

The IRS has also been nicknamed the “Income Reduction Service” (cited in print since at least 1990), “Internal Rectal Service” (cited in print since at least 2000, by Congressman James Traficant in Congress), “Internal Rotten Scoundrels” (at an “Abolish the IRS” rally in 2013), “Internal Revenge Service” (popular since April and May 2013) and “IRSS” (IRS + SS, popular since May 2013).


Wikipedia: Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes and the interpretation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code.
(...)
American Civil War (1861–65)
In July 1862, during the Civil War, President Lincoln and Congress created the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses (see Revenue Act of 1862). The position of Commissioner exists today as the head of the Internal Revenue Service.
(...)
The IRS reinvents itself (1913–1970)
In the first year after ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, no taxes were collected--instead, taxpayers simply completed the form and the IRS checked it for accuracy. The IRS’s workload jumped by ten-fold, triggering a massive restructuring. Professional tax collectors began to replace a system of “patronage” appointments. The IRS doubled its staff, but was still processing 1917 returns in 1919.

Currently, only the IRS Commissioner and Chief Counsel are political appointees selected by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.
(...)
History of the IRS name
As early as the year 1918, the Bureau of Internal Revenue began using the name “Internal Revenue Service” on at least one tax form. In 1953, the name change to the “Internal Revenue Service” was formalized in Treasury Decision 6038.

IRS.gov
Brief History of IRS
Origin

The roots of IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress, in 1862, created the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.

16th Amendment
In 1913, Wyoming ratified the 16th Amendment, providing the three-quarter majority of states necessary to amend the Constitution. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to enact an income tax. That same year, the first Form 1040 appeared after Congress levied a 1 percent tax on net personal incomes above $3,000 with a 6 percent surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

In 1918, during World War I, the top rate of the income tax rose to 77 percent to help finance the war effort. It dropped sharply in the post-war years, down to 24 percent in 1929, and rose again during the Depression. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.

A New Name
In the 50s, the agency was reorganized to replace a patronage system with career, professional employees. The Bureau of Internal Revenue name was changed to the Internal Revenue Service. Only the IRS commissioner and chief counsel are selected by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Urban Dictionary
IRS
“Infernal Revenue Service”, how many Americans feel about the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. federal tax collection agency.
Legend has it that IRS employees scrutinize handwritten envelopes containing tax returns, and any addressed to the “Infernal” Revenue Service are flagged for audits.
by Grinning Cat Apr 18, 2008

29 April 1949, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, pg. 3, col. 2:
Speaking of taxes, as we seem to have been lately, Bugs Baer once upon a time got a sharp note from the collector of internal revenue. He didn’t like either its tone or contents. So he wrote back:

“Bureau of Infernal Revenue
“Washington, D. C.
“Dear Slur: Yours of the 14th instant received and dully noted...”

28 March 1956, Sandusky (OH) Register-Star-News, “Tax Men Take Public Bumps In ‘Stride’” by Harman W. Nichols, pg. 12, col. 1:
Internal Revenue Service
Incidentally, the man who picks your pocket on April 15 has been accused of all sorts of things, and gets all kinds of insults through the mails.

The service just lets it roll off when addressed as “The Infernal Revenue Service” or the “Eternal Revenue Service.”

OCLC WorldCat record
The infernal revenue. [Cartoons]
Author: Angelo; Albert G Miller
Publisher: New York, T. Nelson [1959]
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The Infernal revenue service
Author: Phil Hirsch
Publisher: New York : Pyramid Books, 1972.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The Infernal Revenue Code
Author: F P Katz
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: TAX LAWYER, 50, no. 3, (1997): 617-624
Database: British Library Serials

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, April 19, 2011 • Permalink