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Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents Job Description, Career as a Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: College

Salary: Median— $45,620 per year

Employment Outlook: Fair

Tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents review filed tax returns and decide where tax credits and deductions are applicable in accordance with the law. The work remains same whether they are employed by federal, state or local governments. At a local level, tax examiners sometimes have additional duties.

Tax examiners primarily deal with tax returns filed by individual tax payers. An entry level tax examiner performs clerical work like reviewing tax returns and filing them electronically. In case of any problems, they contact the tax payer to sort it out. Their job is mainly to assess the accuracy and legitimacy of filed tax returns and notify the tax payer in the event of overpayment or underpayment as and when applicable.

Revenue agents work for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and specialize in tax related accounting work. They handle the complicated returns of businesses and corporations, and audit their tax returns for accuracy. Some may even specialize in exclusive areas such as multinational businesses or real estate. However, all revenue agents are required to keep abreast of complicated and constantly changing tax codes for better efficiency. At a local level, they may be required to carry out field audits or audits of financial records of business firms.

The job of collectors is to deal with defaulters. They send notices to delinquent taxpayers and work with them on ways to settle their debts. It is also dependent upon the collector to decide whether the IRS takes a lien in case of the defaulter’s inability to pay the debt. Some collectors specialize in obtaining settlements. These collectors have the power to request seizure of the tax payer’s property or issue subpoenas. However, they must work through proper channels and notify the local court system.

Education and Training Requirements

To be a tax examiner requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting, or acombination of relevant work experience and a bachelor’s degree in another field. Candidates for the IRS, however, are required to have a bachelor’s degree and one year full-time specialized experience in the field of tax analysis or bookkeeping. Formal training is also provided to entry-level IRS tax examiners.

Collectors generally have both college education and prior experience in collections, tax compliance, or as a credit manager or loan officer. Most entry-level collectors get an on-the-job training prior to starting independent work.

Revenue agents are required to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, economics, or a related discipline. A combination of education and full-time work experience in a related field can be particularly beneficial.

Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents must have good interpersonal and communications skills. They must also have a level of trustworthiness because they deal with confidential personal and financial information.

Getting the Job

Job related information for tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents is offered by government agencies. A lot of employment journals also come out with advertisements by related federal or state agencies regarding recruitment of professionals in this field.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

The opportunities of advancement for tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents vary within Federal, state and local agencies. Experienced workers can take a licensing exam that allows them to work outside the government as tax professionals representing taxpayers in front of IRS. Collectors can advance to the level of supervisors and managerial collectors if they have a thorough knowledge of collection procedures and exhibit leadership skills. With experience, a revenue agent may specialize as an international agent for corporations, or work with grand juries in criminal investigations to secure indictments.

As the federal government is expected to make its tax collection efforts stringent, it is anticipated that there will be a rise in demand of tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents. The advent of technology also allows accurate pinpointing of defaulters leading to a larger opportunity for audits and collections. There is fierce competition for posts at the IRS, whereas employment competition at state or local level fluctuates, depending upon the economy of the state or locality.

Working Conditions

Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents generally work in clean and pleasant office settings. Travel may be necessary at times, although some agents may be permanently stationed at the offices of private firms for audits and assessments of complicated tax structures. Professionals in this field may be stressed out not only by deadline pressures, but also due to confrontations with delinquent taxpayers and constant handling of complicated tax structures. Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents generally work for 40 hours a week, though the tax season may force one to work significant overtime. State and local tax payers generally face a steady and uniform workload as compared to their IRS counterparts.

Where to Go for More Information

Office of Personnel Management
IVRTS (703) 724-1850 or TDD (978) 461-8404

Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20224

Earnings and Benefits

As per records of May 2006, the median annual salary for all tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents was $45,620. The yearly wages may range from $34,840 to $62,530. Apart from salary, the IRS employees receive vacations and sick leaves. Full-time employees are offered investment facilities such as tax deferred retirement savings, and investment plans with employer matching contributions, health insurance, as well as life insurance.

Additional topics

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