The United States first introduced income tax in 1861 to help fund the Civil War. This was deemed as unconstitutional and was repealed in 1872. Then in 1913, the “Sixteenth Amendment” was added, which cleared the way for the income tax to be reinstated. April 15th was designated in 1955 as the date for the returns to filed and has not been changed, although it may be extended a day or so depending upon the day of the week or if there are extreme weather conditions.
The IRS is overseen by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and is responsible for establishing & interpreting tax policies. The commissioner is nominated by the president and gets approval through the senate. The commissioner is appointed to a 5 year term. Most commissioners only serve for one term.
The IRS suggest keeping your records for up to three years after the date of filing, however it may be best to keep indefinitely. The IRS can audit back to six or seven years for under reported income or loss for bad debt or worthless securities.
Whether you are expecting a refund or will be paying, tax day is rapidly approaching. Returns must be filed by April 15th. The general consensus seems to be if you expect a refund you file early and if you have to pay you wait until the last minute.