Indian Revenue Service (IRS) — As a career option


Formed in 1953, the Indian Revenue Service is the administrative revenue service of the Central Civil Services of the Government of India. We are talking about the same people who are responsible for the administration and collection of the various direct and indirect taxes that are acquired by the Government.

Two kinds of Taxes

As citizens, we pay two kinds of taxes: Direct Tax and Indirect Tax

  • Direct Tax

Direct taxes are paid by individuals or organization to entities such as governments so that there is an equal distribution of wealth in the country. Direct taxes are governed by the simple principle of the more income of an individual/organization the more tax they play.

  • Indirect Tax

Indirect taxes refer to a tax that is shifted from one taxpayer to another i.e. collected by one person but actually born to another person. Indirect taxes are levied equally upon all taxpayers irrespective of their income.

Difference between IRS officer and an Income Tax officer

The role of an IRS officer is like the multi-specialised doctor. Indian Revenue Services officers are basically aligned with the Income Tax and Customs Departments. However, they are also deputed to many other agencies and departments in the central and state governments.

  1. IRS officers administer the Direct Taxes laws through the Income Tax Department (ITD).
  2. In the Income Tax and Customs Departments, IRS officers are charged with the responsibility to identify the tax evasion procedures and are given statutory powers of search and seizure and arrest to combat people who find ways to avoid paying taxes.
  3. They also advise on tax policy matters by playing a significant role in framing or amending of statutes and frames regulations in relation to taxes.
  4. In addition, they also participate and negotiate treaties on behalf of the Government of India in the revenue matters at international tax and revenue monitoring entities such as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD).

Two basic branches of IRS officers

  • IRS (Income Tax)
  • IRS (Customs and Central Excise)

These two branches are controlled by two separate statutory bodies, which are the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) respectively. IRS serves the nation by discharging one of the most important sovereign functions i.e., a collection of revenue for development, security, and governance.

As guardian of the economic borders, IRS officers are appointed to law enforcement and intelligence organizations like the Central Bureau of Investigation, Research and Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau.

Indian Revenue Service officers have been playing a significant role in probing and exposing of many scams in the country. Since IRS Officers are concerned with the compilation, administration, and policy formation of direct and indirect tax, they are often called as Tax administrators of India.

IRS officers perform all important border postings and protect the country from smuggling and safeguard its economic borders. They also undertake patrolling missions in high seas and preventive operations against piracy and smuggling.

Eligibility criteria to become an IRS officer

  • +2: Have to graduate in any stream
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Master’s Degree: Master of Arts

Indian Revenue Service is a civil services competitive exam in India conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) for recruitment to the Revenue Department. The Indian Revenue Service(IRS) is the administrative revenue service of the Government of India and is one of the Group A services.

Eligibility criteria for the IRS are just like other services featuring under UPSC

  • One has to be the citizen of India.
  • One has to be 21 years of age.
  • One has to have pass intermediate.
  • One has to obtain a degree from central, state or recognized university.

Besides these eligibility criteria, a person can only take the exam until the age of 32. The number of attempts for general candidates is a total of 6, while other backward class(OBC) candidates can take it up to 9 times, whereas there is no restriction for scheduled caste(SC) candidates, whatsoever.

A day in the life of an IRS officer

Hello, I’m an Income Tax officer and my job is to look after the collection in my assigned area. My work requires for me to maintain records and keep a thorough check on the government revenue transactions of my division. I have studied hard to command the post that I now oversee.

My daily life is a mix or work, family, and hobbies. Here’s how a normal day in my life goes by:

7:00 AM: Wake up in the nice 2 BHK flat allotted to me by the government, and do some yoga.

10:40 AM: Here’s starting the day with the revenue returns of a corporation that has been seemingly too nice. As a member of the IT Department, my main job is assessment and recovery of direct taxes. Our department also has specialized branches dealing with the investigation of tax evasion, statistics, and so on with the help of Assistant Directors (of the same rank as Assistant Commissioners of Income-tax).

I continue looking at the audited financial statements. Something seems fishy. Generally, organizations and companies are on their toes with income tax, this one, however, seems way too laid back. In the IT department, it’s difficult to believe that a company’s taxes are being paid right, sometimes even when they are not up to any illegal business.

2:20 PM: An extensive research is underway and the department is scrutinizing their account books most. Sometimes people are just not doing anything illegal but the nature of the job makes us officers see them that way. Let’s swallow that thought down with some good lunch.

3:00 PM: This other company is definitely up to something shady. We had a little hunch about them but the records show that they are truly are significantly behind on their taxes with no acknowledgement to the notice that we sent them. This must be checked. We’re looking at the small-time raid, but one that shall suffice.

3:30 PM: Before we march up to the place we need to absolutely clear about what we’re addressing and what we are after. The only way of doing that is to be correct with our calculations and analysis. My team and I will raid the office tomorrow morning before noon. In more than one ways, this job incorporates proper investigations.

4:30 PM: I’m through with the work for today. Going home now.

This is how a typical day in my life looks like. Do you want to become like me? We hope this article has added something valuable to your research about this profession. Have your say in the comment box below. Enjoy reading!




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