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Weston White Lead Researcher

Lead Researcher
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Location: Fresno, California

Is the Statutory Authority of the IRS Presumptive (BATFE excluded)?


On the IRS Website, under the heading “Statutory Authority” it states that such authority is to be found within 26 USC § 7801. Now certainly that is innocuous sounding enough, right? Most certainly, well that is until you actually take time to review the statute, for it is then that the context of that supposed “authority” starts to become very interesting. The reason as to why, is that within this statute in reference so granting “full authority to administer and enforce the internal revenue laws” is an apparent stipulation levied on both that proclaimed administration and enforcement by the IRS of the Internal Revenue Code. Still this is made even further interesting in that many of the actual enforcement statutes now represented within Title 26 of the USC are actually from Title 27 of the USC, being that it had been concatenated into Title 26, yet however, those inducted statutes remain applicable only to Title 27 –“Intoxicating Liquors” (this may be verified by perusing the section designated for 26 U.S.C. within the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules—PTOA, while also noting that Title 27 is still maintained within the Code of Federal Regulations).

Further confirmation is provided by the two distinct classes of IRS enforcement officers established by 26 USC § 7608(a) – “Enforcement of subtitle E and other laws pertaining to liquor, tobacco, and firearms” and 26 USC § 7608(b) – “Enforcement of laws relating to internal revenue other than subtitle E”, for it is only the former classification of IRS agents, investigators, and officers who are statutorily permitted to carry firearms (see: 26 USC § 7608(a)(1)) and only while in the course of “enforcing any of the criminal, seizure, or forfeiture provisions of subtitle E or of any other law of the United States pertaining to the commodities subject to tax under such subtitle”.

To provide clarification, 26 USC § 7801 states in essence:

  • Within 26 USC § 7801(a)(1) it designates that the general administration and enforcement power of the IRS is to be performed or supervised (i.e., through the position of an IRS Commissioner—26 USC § 7803) by the Secretary of the Treasury, lending only exception “as otherwise expressly provided by law”.

  • Within 26 USC § 7801(a)(2)(A) it designates an expressly provided exception to the above in that the general administration and enforcement power of the IRS is to be performed or supervised by the Attorney General when in the context of Chapter 53: “Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain other Firearms” (7801(a)(2)(A)(i)) or Chapters 61 thru 80: subtitle F – “Procedure and Administration” (7801(a)(2)(A)(ii)) when such provisions pertain to the administration or enforcement of Chapter 53; while references made therein to either the “Secretary” or “Secretary of the Treasury” shall be taken to mean the Attorney General, and references to “internal revenue officers” to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Thus indicating that ambiguity within the related statutes was intended to result in confusion, being that (1) there are enforcing statutes located throughout subtitle F that are applicable only to the enforcing of subtitle E (i.e., activities concerning only the BATFE) and (2) the use of “Secretary”, “Secretary of the Treasury”, and “internal revenue officers” within those statutes serve to greatly alter the apparent context and scope of those respective statutes.

In closing, this brings to light the much larger matter of why virtually the entirely of the revised 1986 Internal Revenue Code (IRC) was written in a fashion clearly intended to obfuscate issues or debates over the national income taxation scheme.


IRS References

Statutory Authority

The IRS is organized to carry out the responsibilities of the secretary of the Treasury under section 7801 of the Internal Revenue Code. The secretary has full authority to administer and enforce the internal revenue laws and has the power to create an agency to enforce these laws. The IRS was created based on this legislative grant.

Section 7803 of the Internal Revenue Code provides for the appointment of a commissioner of Internal Revenue to administer and supervise the execution and application of the internal revenue laws.

SOURCE URL: http://www.irs.gov/uac/The-Agency,-its-Mission-and-Statutory-Authority


26 USC § 7608. Authority of internal revenue enforcement officers
(a) Enforcement of subtitle E and other laws pertaining to liquor, tobacco, and firearms
Any investigator, agent, or other internal revenue officer by whatever term designated, whom the Secretary charges with the duty of enforcing any of the criminal, seizure, or forfeiture provisions of subtitle E or of any other law of the United States pertaining to the commodities subject to tax under such subtitle for the enforcement of which the Secretary is responsible may—
(1) carry firearms;
(2) execute and serve search warrants and arrest warrants, and serve subpoenas and summonses issued under authority of the United States;
(3) in respect to the performance of such duty, make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in his presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed, or is committing, such felony; and
(4) in respect to the performance of such duty, make seizures of property subject to forfeiture to the United States.
(b) Enforcement of laws relating to internal revenue other than subtitle E
(1) Any criminal investigator of the Intelligence Division of the Internal Revenue Service whom the Secretary charges with the duty of enforcing any of the criminal provisions of the internal revenue laws, any other criminal provisions of law relating to internal revenue for the enforcement of which the Secretary is responsible, or any other law for which the Secretary has delegated investigatory authority to the Internal Revenue Service, is, in the performance of his duties, authorized to perform the functions described in paragraph (2).
(2) The functions authorized under this subsection to be performed by an officer referred to in paragraph (1) are—
(A) to execute and serve search warrants and arrest warrants, and serve subpoenas and summonses issued under authority of the United States;
(B) to make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States relating to the internal revenue laws committed in his presence, or for any felony cognizable under such laws if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing any such felony; and
(C) to make seizures of property subject to forfeiture under the internal revenue laws.


26 USC § 7801
Powers and duties of Secretary
(1) In general
Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the administration and enforcement of this title shall be performed by or under the supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury.
(2) Administration and enforcement of certain provisions by Attorney General
(A) In general
The administration and enforcement of the following provisions of this title shall be performed by or under the supervision of the Attorney General; and the term “Secretary” or “Secretary of the Treasury” shall, when applied to those provisions, mean the Attorney General; and the term “internal revenue officer” shall, when applied to those provisions, mean any officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives so designated by the Attorney General:
(i) Chapter 53 [i.e., 26 USC Chapter 53 – “Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain other Firearms”].
(ii) Chapters 61 through 80, to the extent such chapters relate to the enforcement and administration of the provisions referred to in clause (i)[i.e., subtitle F – “Procedure and Administration”].
(B) Use of existing rulings and interpretations
Nothing in this Act alters or repeals the rulings and interpretations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in effect on the effective date of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which concern the provisions of this title referred to in subparagraph (A). The Attorney General shall consult with the Secretary to achieve uniformity and consistency in administering provisions under chapter 53 of title 26, United States Code.

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