Posted by Carmen Garcia

Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

What is the Internal Revenue Code?

The Internal Revenue Code refers to Title 26 of the United States Code. "Formal consolidation and codification of the United States' general and permanent legislation," as explained in the preface to the Code. Commonly called the IRS code or IRS tax code, the laws of Title 26 are applied by the IRS. The United States Code was initially published in 1926 by the United States House of Representatives. Title 26 covers all relevant regulations regarding income, donations, goods, sales, wages, and excise duties.

Understanding the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

The Internal Revenue Code is divided into the following headings or subcategories:

  • Income tax

  • Taxes and donations of goods

  • Employment taxes

  • Miscellaneous Excise Taxes

  • Alcohol, tobacco and other excise taxes

  • Procedure and Administration

  • Joint Committee on Taxation 

  • Financing of presidential election campaigns.

  • Trust fund code

  • The health benefits of the coal industry

  • Group Health plan requirements

History of the internal revenue code

In 1919, a committee of the United States House of Representatives launched a project to recode the United States Charter. The full version was published in 1926. Title 26, the Internal Revenue Code, was initially drafted in 1939. Congress has the power to rewrite the tax code and add items to it each year. For instance, in 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which introduced significant tax code reforms affecting individuals and businesses.

The Internal Revenue Service, founded in 1862, regulates the codes in Title 26. Based in Washington, DC, the IRS is also responsible for collecting taxes. The IRS has the right to impose punishments and fines for violations of the Tax Code. 

Code Abolition Campaigns

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 2017 (TCJA), made significant changes to previous laws. However, campaigns are underway to obliterate the entire system. The two most up-to-date bills:

In 2017, the House of Representatives Bill H.R. 29, the law on the conclusion of the tax code, was introduced to remove the federal income code from 1986 to the end of 2021. H.R. 29 would have required Congress' approval for a new federal tax system before July 4, 2021, before the abolition of the current system.

H.R. 25, the good tax law of 2017, was introduced in Congress on January 3, 2017. The bill proposes a national sales tax imposition on the use or consumption of goods or services taxable in the country, instead of personal and corporate income tax, labor and self-employment tax, and property and donation tax. The proposed sales tax rate was about 23% in 2019, with rate adjustments in the coming years. The bill includes tax exemptions on intangible goods or services used for commercial, export or investment purposes, and state government's functions. The Internal Revenue Service would be dissolved entirely, with no funds for operations being authorized after 2021.

The Fair Tax Act would allow American residents to receive a monthly sales tax refund based on family size and income. All states will be responsible for the management, collection, and remittance of sales tax to the federal government. More importantly, the bill would terminate the national sales tax if the sixteenth amendment (authorization of federal income tax) is not repealed within seven years of its coming into force8.

The Fair Tax Act has made little progress since its introduction. The approval of the TCJA, which has made significant changes to the current tax system but has reaffirmed its basic structure, makes the future of fair tax law (and the law on termination of tax services) uncertain or little likely.

According to experts, the recent adoption of the tax code's changes could reduce appetite for a major overhaul of the tax system. The new tax reform plan has evolved to allay fears that the original plan was designed for the benefit of the wealthy and that trying to replace it with a sales tax would have led to similar questions about whether they have benefited the most.



Carmen Garcia
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