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The Job Description of an IRS Agent

People who have the skills to unravel complicated financial regulations and enjoy working with a variety of people may discover satisfying careers as Internal Revenue Service agents. According to the IRS, the agency is one of the largest employers of accounting professionals, and it offers several opportunities for advancement.

Responsibilities

IRS agents should enjoy honing skills in accounting and tax law. They audit the income tax returns of employees and businesses to determine their accuracy. Revenue agents also scrutinize companies' taxes on sales and their excise taxes that are included in a product's price.

Education

The IRS requires that its agents be U.S. citizens and have a four-year college degree, or 30 hours of college-level accounting courses and some related experience. The IRS offers a tuition-assistance program to help agents increase their skills and advance their careers.

Entry-Level Agents

Entry-level IRS agents work with a variety of people and entities, including chief financial officers and tax-exempt organizations. Early in their careers, IRS agents usually audit tax returns of small businesses in similar industries. As an agent gains knowledge of a particular industry, he may audit returns of large corporations in that sector.

Experienced Agents

Senior IRS agents may be involved in scrutinizing national and multinational corporations' taxes, examining their acquisitions, mergers and global operations. This level also includes several specialists, such as agents who analyze computer accounting systems or examine employment tax returns of large companies.

Considerations

No matter what an IRS agent's specialty is, all agents need to stay current on accounting practices and the complex tax code, which is frequently revised. Solid computer skills will help simplify the research agents need to do to find tax-related court decisions and other legal notices. Moreover, agents can identify tax offenders by analyzing computer data.

Application Process

The IRS posts open jobs online and it accepts applications online. In its description of the hiring process, the agency notes applicants will receive a letter indicating whether they're considered to be qualified for the job that interests them. The IRS warns that application processing will take a few weeks.



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