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public service may require; and the privilege of franking all letters and documents pertaining to the duties of his office, and of receiving free of postage all such letters and documents, is hereby extended to said Commissioner.)-March 3, 1865, Section 20.

General Provisions. Mode of Keeping and Auditing of Accounts. Inspection of Money by Secretary of Treasury and Comptrollers. Commissioner's Bond.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to pay over daily to the Treasurer of the United States all public moneys which may come into his possession, for which the Treasurer shall give proper receipts and keep a faithful account; and at the end of each month the said Commissioner shall render true and faithful accounts of all public moneys received or paid out, or paid to the Treasurer of the United States, exhibiting proper vouchers therefor, and the same shall be received and examined by the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, who shall thereafter certify the balance, if any, and transmit the accounts, with the vouchers and certificate, to the First Comptroller for his decision thereon; and the said Commissioner, when such accounts are settled as herein provided for, shall transmit a copy thereof to the Secretary of the Treasury. He shall at all times submit to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller, or either of them, the inspection of moneys in his hands, and shall, prior to the entering upon the duties of his office, execute a bond, with sufficient sureties, to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury and by the First Comptroller, in a sum of not less than one hundred thousand dollars, payable to the United States, conditioned that said Commissioner shall faithfully perform the duties of his office according to law, and shall justly and faithfully account for and pay over to the United States, in obedience to law and in compliance with the order or regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury, all public moneys which may come into his hands or possession, and for the safe-keeping and faithful account of all stamps, adhesive stamps, or vellum, parchment or paper bearing a stamp denoting any duty thereon, which bond shall be filed in the office of the First Comptroller of the Treasury. And such Commissioner shall, from time to time, renew, strengthen, and increase his official bond as the Secretary of the Treasury may direct.

Taxes to be paid daily into the Treasury. Certificate of Deposit returned to Commissioner.

(SEC. 3. Act of March 3, 1865.) And be it further enacted, That from and after the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and sixtyfive, the gross amount of all duties, taxes, and revenues received or collected by virtue of the several acts to provide internal revenue to sup

* See Section 65, Act of July, 1866, reorganizing the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, infra.

port the government and to pay the interest on the public debt, and of any other act or acts that may now or hereafter be in force connected with the internal revenues, shall be paid by the officers, collectors or agents receiving or collecting the same daily into the Treasury of the United States, under the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury, without any abatement or deduction on account of salary, compensation, fees, costs, charges, expenses, or claims of any description whatever, anything in any law to the contrary notwithstanding. And all moneys now directed by law to be paid to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, including those derived from the sale of stamps, shall be paid into the treasury of the United States by the party making such payment ; and a certificate of such payment, stating the name of the depositor, and the specific account on which the deposit was made, signed by the treasurer, assistant treasurer, designated depositary or proper officer of a deposit bank, and transmitted to and received by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, shall be deemed a compliance with the law requiring payment to be made to the Commissioner, any law to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided, That in districts where from the distance of the officer, collector or agent receiving or collecting such duties, taxes, and revenues from a proper government depository, the Secretary of the Treasury may deem it proper, he may extend the time for making such payment, not exceeding, however, in any case, a period of one month.

Deputy Commissioner and Duties and Powers.*

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue, whose annual salary shall be twenty-five hundred dollars, shall be charged with such duties in the Bureau of Internal Revenue as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, or as may be required by law, and shall act as Commissioner of Internal Revenue in the absence of that officer, and exercise the privilege of franking all letters and documents pertaining to the office of Internal Rev


Revenue Agents. Duties and Compensation.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treas ury may appoint not exceeding ten revenue agents, whose duties shall

*The Deputy Commissioner is vested, in the absence of the Commissioner, with all the powers, and performs all the duties of the latter. The present Deputy is Hon. D. C. Whitman, who has had long experience in the details of the Department.

†Revenue Agents and Inspectors send their accounts monthly to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to be audited and paid.


By Section 37 of the Act of June 30, 1864, the Revenue Agent is empowered to examine the books and papers of any person whom he may have reason to suspect of attempting to defraud the revenue. This, however, he is

be, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, to aid in the prevention, detection, and punishment of frauds upon the internal revenue, and in the enforcement of the collection thereof, who shall be paid, in addition to the expenses necessarily incurred by them, such compensation as the Secretary of the Treasury may deem just and reasonable, not exceeding two thousand dollars per annum. The above salaries to be paid in the same manner as are other expenses for collecting the revenue.

Inspectors. Duties and Compensation. Penalty for extortion, &c.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treas

expected to exercise with discretion. No officer is warranted in making inquisition into the operation and proceeds of a man's private business without probable cause to believe that some wrong has been done to the Government. An investigation without probable cause, for the purpose of gratifying a personal curiosity or a private pique, would be criminal in the officers.

He may render important assistance to the assessor by suggesting the course of the inquiry, examining and cross-examining witnesses, collecting and following accounts, &c. When evidence is obtained he submits the facts to the assessor, and he must act; but his duties are ended when he has discovered the fraud, and the collector attends to the prosecution.-Dept. Circular, June 21, 1865. Int. Rev. Record, Vol. III., p. 146.

"In answer to an inquiry we would state that no Revenue Agent or Inspector, Assessor or Assistant Assessor, possesses any authority of law to receive money or checks in payment of taxes or of liabilities due to the United States. Nor have Revenue Agents, Inspectors, Collectors, or Deputy Collectors any authority of law to estimate or fix the amount of tax due from any individual. Assessors and Assistant Assessors can alone make assessment by law. No Revenue Agent or Inspector can, consistent with law, be at the same time a Deputy Collector, or have delegated to them the power to receive money on behalf of Collectors in payment of taxes or liabilities to the United States."-Letter of Commissioner 1865.

It will be seen that the following constitute the class of officers charged with the superintendence of the assessment and the collection of the Internal Revenue: The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, the Cashier, the Assessor and his Assistants, the Collector and such Deputies as he may see fit to appoint, responsible immediately to him, with their remuneration fixed and paid by him; ten Revenue Agents appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, and acting as the police of the law, and charged with its enforcement in the several districts, and also such numbers of Inspectors in each Collection District as the Secretary of the Treasury may deem necessary, who are charged with the general enforcement of the law and the detection of frauds. For the inspection of Distilled Spirits and Tobacco and Cigars there are appointed in the districts, when necessary, a corps of Inspectors, whose duties will be fully detailed in the proper place.


The work of initiating and assessing the taxes of course devolves upon the assessor and his assistants. By the provisions of the law as originally enacted and substantially continued in the various re-enactments and amendments, the President was authorized to divide the States and Territories into convenient Collection Districts, in each of which an Assessor and Collector was nominated and commissioned, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

ury may appoint inspectors in any assessment district where in his judg ment it may be necessary for the purposes of a proper enforcement of the internal revenue laws or the detection of frauds, and such inspectors and revenue agents aforesaid shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the said Secretary, and have all the powers conferred upon any other officers of internal revenue in making any examination of persons, books and premises which may be necessary in the discharge of the duties of their office. And the compensation of such inspectors shall be fixed and paid for such time as they may be actually employed, not exceeding four dollars per day, and their just and proper traveling expenses.

[And any inspector, or revenue agent, or any special agent, appointed

These districts generally correspond to the Congressional Districts. The exceptions were that in California two additional Districts were authorized corresponding to the number of Senators as well as Representatives, and extra districts, when needed, from the great size or importance of the Congressional Districts, as in the lower wards of the city of New York.-Law of 1862, Section 2.

The duties of the assessor and his assistants are extensive and comprehensive; and as they correspond to the various provisions of the law in relation to the assessment, they are with great particularity and fullness detailed in the text of the law itself. We will allude, however, generally to his official duties and the routine of his office.

1. He divides his district into convenient assessment divisions, in each of which he nominates, subject to the approval of the Commissioner and the Secretary of the Treasury, an assistant assessor.

2. Before entering upon the actual performance of the duties of his office he takes the oath of allegiance provided by the law of 1862, chapter 128, together with the appropriate oath of office for the diligent and faithful performance of his official trust.

3. After establishing his several sub-districts, with definite boundaries, he gives public notice of such divisions, with the name of the assistant assigned to each.

4. His assistants act under his general superintendence; he supplies them with stationery, forms, blanks and instructions, and makes himself as familiar as possible with the progress of their work, the manner which it is performed, &c.

5. He receives and hears appeals made to him from the assessment of his assistants upon their annual or other lists.

6. He issues summons to all persons who refuse or neglect upon notice to make required lists or returns, or who are suspected of making false, fraudulent, or understated returns or valuations, requiring the production of accounts, books, or entries upon such books, and to give testimony in the premises, and answer interrogatories; and in case of disobedience he makes application to the proper authority for a warrant of attachment. Vide Section 14, passim, Section 19.

7. He returns to the collector certified copies of annual, monthly and special lists.

8. He keeps his office or principal place of business always open during business hours, for the hearing of appeals by parties who voluntarily appear before him. Sections 14-26.

9. He is bound by the instructions and regulations of the Department, in the performance of all duties enjoined upon him under the law, and to instruct his assistants accordingly. Sections 14-19.

10. If he enters upon his official duties without having taken the required

by the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall demand or receive any compensation, fee, or reward, other than such as are provided by law for, or in regard to, the performance of his official duties, or shall be guilty of any extortion or willful oppression in the discharge of such duties, shall, upon conviction thereof in any circuit or district court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, be subject to a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars, or to imprisonment for not exceeding one year, or both, at the discretion of the court, and shall be dismissed from office, and shall be forever disqualified from holding any office under the government of the United States. And one-half of the fine so imposed shall be for the use of the United States, and the other half for the use of the person, to be ascertained by the judgment of the court,

oaths, or shall willfully fail to perform any prescribed duty, or shall make fraudulent valuation or assessment, or shall demand any fee, compensation or reward for the performance of any official duty, or shall be guilty of extortion or willful oppression in office, he is made subject to heavy penalties and fine, and is made liable in damages, at the suit of any party injured by his malfeasance in office, upon conviction thereof.

11. He is authorized to enter in the day time, any brewery, distillery, factory or other place or building where articles of property or objects of taxation are made, produced or kept, within his district, to examine the same or inspect the accounts of the same.

12. His compensation is a salary of $1,500 per year, payable quarterly; and in addition thereto, a commission graded by the amount of actual collections in his district, in no case, however, to exceed the sum of $2,500, requiring an aggregate of collections of $1,200,000 annually, (or a maximum compensation of $4,000.) He is also allowed his necessary disbursements, for rent of office, not exceeding $500 per year; also his reasonable charges for clerk hire-(those allowances, last named, vary greatly in different districts; from $300 or $350 in some of the smallest rural districts, to $5,000 or more in the large city districts.) He is allowed for his stationery, blank books and postage in official business. Extra compensation is authorized by the law when a district embraces more than a single congressional district, and in some of the Southern and Western States, where the cost of living and traveling is greater than ordinary. The Assessor is made liable to the severe penalty of summary dismissal from office and a fine of not less than $500 for fraud in the appointment of an assistant, or for demanding or receiving from him any part of his pay as a condition of his appointment to, or continuance in office.

13. He approves the accounts of his assistants, which he duly certifies to the Collector, who is authorized upon this certificate to pay them; or he may disapprove the account, leaving the assistant to his appeal to the commissioner. Should the assessor negligently approve an improper or exorbitant account, the amount of the same is deducted from his own compensation.

The above comprise the general duties of an assessor. Very much depends upon his faithfulness, industry and integrity. His position, although compar atively humble, is to the last degree important and responsible. The reward he has to gain, is not in the applause of the multitude, for his duties rather tend in the direction of reproach and popular enmity; not in the pages of a showy record of honor, for his only record is in the ledger sheets of heavy burdens and impositions; not in extravagant salary or commissions, for in view of the weary and exhausting labors of his office, they are but meager; but his fame and reward must be found in the consciousness that he has been faithful, impartial, firm and unswerving that without fear or favor, he has, so far as in him lay, done equal justice to the humblest artisan and the richest capitalist of his district. [Instructions, Series 2: No. 1. See Appendix..]

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