July 1, 1862 Revenue Act

Creation of the Office of Internal Revenue – 1862

In 1862, Congress creates the Office of Internal Revenue within the Department of the Treasury specifically to collect taxes, including highly lucrative tariffs on imported distilled spirits and tobacco products. By 1863, tax evasion and organized crime activities have become so widespread that Congress authorizes the hiring of three detectives to investigate alcohol tax evaders. This act is the first coordinated effort between tax collection and law enforcement; the three detectives are the forerunners to today’s ATF Agent.

Last Reviewed September 28, 2016