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(g) Time Limit for Delinquent Taxes.-The government has a period of four years within which it may assess delinquent taxes, and five years within which it may sue for taxes, if suit becomes necessary.
V. Tobacco and Miscellaneous Division
(a) When Stamps Required.-With respect to the taxes payable by stamps. upon articles manufactured, such as tobacco, snuff, cigars and cigarettes, playing cards, etc., one should observe carefully whether the package, either as purchased in its entirety or from which the article is sold, bears the proper internal revenue stamp; also if, when the package is emptied, the stamp is destroyed as required by law.11 It should also be seen that the tax stamps are affixed to proxies, powers of attorney, conveyances, and other instruments and documents requiring affixture of documentary stamps.12 When the failure to affix such stamps comes to one's attention, he should notify the Commissioner or Collector of Internal Revenue for the district. The Revenue Act of 1924, the latest to be placed upon statute books, repealed only the taxes on promissory notes.
(b) Redeeming Documentary Stamps.-A faithful observance of the laws imposing stamp and special taxes would result both in economy and efficiency to the government. Persons having unused documentary stamps which they may wish to redeem may apply to the Collector of Internal Revenue for their district, or to the Commissioner at Washington for the necessary form upon which to file claim.
The law places a limitation of four years from the date of purchase from the government in which claims for redemption of stamps may be filed. Claimants should show in their claims the date the stamps were so purchased, or should state they were purchased from the government within four years prior to date of filing the claim.
The organization of the Miscellaneous Tax Unit is shown on Chart 8.
11 Act June 2, 1924, tit. 4, § 400 (43 Stat. 316).
12 Act June 2, 1924, tit. 8, §§ 800-807 (43 Stat. 331).
ACCOUNTS AND COLLECTIONS UNIT
This is solely an administrative unit, dealing with the collection of all taxes assessed under the internal revenue laws.
(a) The several units of the bureau render to the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the Accounts and Collections Unit semimonthly reports showing all changes in compensation either in the field or in Washington. Each month a statement is submitted to the Commissioner, showing the condition of the appropriations, the number of employees by designation, and the annual rates, and another monthly statement showing expenditures under the various allowances granted.
(b) The Deputy Commissioner exercises direct supervision over the personnel in collectors' offices in the various collection districts; supervises the preparation of correspondence involving additional personnel, temporary help, promotions, and reductions, as well as cases of disciplinary action affecting collectors' employees; maintains efficiency records and ratings of all employees of the collection service; disposes of all complaints against collectors' offices, their personnel, and the service rendered by them.
(c) The Field Procedure Division has charge of field organization and procedure; inaugurates various delinquent tax drives; supervises all field procedure in collectors' offices; prepares statistical information necessary to the establishment of new collection districts, as well as the extension of the divisional headquarters plan of organization. Supervisors assigned to field procedure assist collectors in building up the efficiency of field forces by personal instruction. They make monthly reports upon the qualifications and efficiency of field personnel. (d) The Correspondence Study Section prepares assignments, quizzes, and solutions in connection with the correspondence study courses furnished employees in collectors' offices, covering the general tax laws, accounting, bookkeeping, and commercial law.
(e) The Field Allowance Division is charged with the procurement of supplies, equipment, and office space in the collection districts, and with the distribution of the Internal Revenue Manual containing current corrections.
(f) The Accounts and Procedure Division embraces office procedure and accounting methods in collectors' offices, auditing of collectors' revenue accounts, and the stamp and statistical section.
(g) The Disbursement Division supervises the administrative audit of the disbursing accounts of the collectors, revenue agents in charge, and other special disbursing agents; examines all miscellaneous bills paid from internal revenue appropriations by the Disbursing Clerk for the Treasury Department before payment is made; and records all amounts allowed for refund of taxes illegally collected, redemption of stamps, abatement of claims, etc.
(h) The Stamp Section receives all internal revenue stamps, used for collecting taxes, from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; attends to applica
tions for refunding where stamps have been lost or unavoidably destroyed, and applications for special printing of case and strip stamps; checks the stubs of stamp books returned by collector; and credits collectors with obsolete issues. returned.
(i) The Office Procedure Section has charge of office procedure and accounting methods in collectors' offices.
(j) The Revenue Accounts Section audits all revenue accounts of collectors. (k) The Collectors of Internal Revenue collect all the internal revenue taxes and make all the assessments, except in cases of some special taxes, where the assessing is done by field agents of the units representing such special taxes. They do not pass upon any claims for abatement, though they may recommend abatement, as well as the assessment of penalties.
The cardinal features of the organization appear in the chart, which is supplemented by the foregoing description of "Activities." Explanation of the collection district follows:
(a) A collector is in charge of each of the sixty-five collection districts allowed by law, the boundaries of which are prescribed by the President. While at present some of the states have more than one district, no district embraces areas of more than one state except that Alaska is within the Washington district and the District of Columbia is a part of the Maryland district.
Each district contains division, zone and stamp offices, the division offices being in chief tax-paying centers, zone offices in small towns open only for a few days to assist taxpayers in preparing their returns, while stamp offices are for the sale of stamps only. The collector's office has two principal subdivisions: (1) Chief Office Deputy for the administration of office work; (2) Chief Field Deputy in charge of field activities and the discovering of delinquent taxpayers. Although the organization of the several districts cannot conform strictly to a set formula, the general plan of the collectors' offices is:
(1) Administrative Division in charge of the Chief Office Deputy, for the conduct of the work of all the other divisions of the office and to attend to all matters of personnel and materiél.
(2) Income Tax Division, in charge of a Chief of Division to render competent advice and suggestions to taxpayers. Prepares card index of taxpayers for the use of the Chief Field Deputy, for the examination of returns to see that they are properly executed, and for attention to claims for abatement, credit, and refund of income taxes.
(3) Cashier's Division opens mail and attaches remittances therein to proper documents; sorts remittances according to depository classification and returns according to tax list classification; deposits remittances; numbers returns serially; keeps control of remittances according to the tax and section of the list to which they belong; and controls sale of stamps.
(4) Bookkeeping Section supervises the recording of all transactions affecting revenue accounts of the collector's office.
(5) Miscellaneous Tax Division has charge of the collection of all taxes other than income and sales, where there are no separate divisions for tobacco, spirits, capital stock and estate taxes.
1 R. S. § 3142, as amended by Act March 4, 1923 (42 Stat. 1444).