The Indian Revenue Service (IRS) is a Group A gazette administrative services. The recruitment to the post is carried out by UPSC to induct officers into the revenue department. The IRS officers work under the Department of Revenue that directly functions under the Union ministry of finance.
The union government is responsible for collecting taxes, both direct and indirect, and this responsibility rests with the IRS officers. They are accredited with the task of collection of these taxes, management processes, and thereby reporting the same to the central government.
The IRS functions under two divisions:
- IRS ( Income Tax) – (IRS – IT)
- IRS ( Customs and central excise) – ( IRS – C & CE)
Interested candidates who wish to opt for a challenging career as IRS officers should first attempt the UPSC exam. The exam format is the same as that of other UPSC Civil service exams, beginning with prelims, mains and interview round.
Candidates who are successful in all three rounds of the examination will get a chance to serve in the IRS cadre based on the order of merit, vacancies in the post, and preferences quoted by the candidate at the time of application. In this article, we talk about the various roles and responsibilities of IRS officers, their career progression, the various postings offered to them, lucrative pay scales, etc.
Training offered to selected IRS candidates
Candidates who successfully clear the final round of interviews and get shortlisted for the IRS will have to undergo the formal training for 15 weeks at Lal Bahadur Shastry National Academy of Administration at Mussourie.
This is the common training offered to candidates from all civil services and forms the foundation training for the candidate.
The next level of higher and specialized cum intensive training commences at the National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) at Nagpur.
This is an in-depth training carried out for almost 16 months. This training level imparts extensive education about taxation in our country like tax laws, fiscal policies, accounting procedures, public financial management principles, and many more.
Soon after the completion of training, probationary officers will receive their initial postings. We list a few important postings of IRS officers below:
- IRS officers could be posted as Assistant commissioners in any of these departments, namely customs unit, excise units, service tax establishments, or income tax services.
- They could also be posted as an assistant director in any of the tax departments.
- After several promotions, they would climb to higher posts like Deputy Commissioner and Joint commissioner.
- In higher cadres of authority, they will be posted as Additional Commissioner, commissioner, and principal commissioner.
Roles and Responsibilities of IRS Officers
IRS officers work in unison with the Income tax department and the customs department that is directly involved in the collection and management of taxes in our country. Some of the greatest roles and responsibilities of IRS officers include:
- Working with allied agencies, departments, and establishments that are co-associated with the income tax department of the Indian government.
- Assessing the tax laws and their reverence to changing situations in the country and proposing the government regarding the same.
- Passing amendments and proposing changes in standard statutes related to taxes that are laid down in our constitution.
- On international platforms, discussing propaganda and upholding fiscal laws to generate bilateral and multilateral trade opening with other countries.
- Garnering interest in global talks and forums regarding the smooth and transparent taxation system in the country.
- The central board of direct taxes has a new division created a few years ago called the criminal investigation department that deals with low, mid, and high level tax invasions in the country. So, IRS officers work in this department to collect relevant data using intelligence agencies and tools and aids that support in identifying the culprits and punishing them under law. The investigation for tax invasion and listing such tax invaders also comes under the purview of IRS officers.
- IRS officers have the power in their hands to identify the wrong accumulation of wealth, which has no legal standing or documentation. They have the authority to serve authorities to such wrongdoers and bring them under the action of law.
- Of late, there have been hundreds and thousands of scams that have been unearthed and continue to come to light every other day. It is the great work and efforts of IRS officers to help the government in seizing illegally claimed wealth. These scams have been causing great loss to the exchequer, and IRS officers work day and night to curb tax malpractices to a very large extent.
- Smuggling is another major cause of the loss of money to the government. Smuggled money, goods, drugs, and many other valuable commodities are checked at airports and all other high security places in the country to enforce legal straps and punish offenders under law. The IRS officers deal with such offenses by securing international borders against piracy, smuggling, and other anti-national activities.
Indian Revenue Service (I.T.) ranks and salaries
The pay scale of IRS officers gets updated from time to time. Based on appraisals, grade, level of post, ranking, and a host of other factors, the pay scale of an IRS officer is decided. The pay scale of an IRS officer according to the 7th central pay commission is tabulated below:
|Designation and role of IRS officer||Pay Scale Range|
|(Apex position) As Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax||INR 80,000 (fixed pay)|
|As Chief Commissioner of Income Tax||INR 75,500-80,000|
|As Principal Commissioner of Income Tax||INR 67,000-79,000|
|As Commissioner of Income Tax||Basic pay of INR 37,400-67,000 + grade pay of INR 10,000|
|As Additional Commissioner of Income Tax||Basic pay of INR 37,400-67,000 + grade pay of INR 8,700|
|As Joint Commissioner of Income Tax||Basic pay of INR 15,600-39,100 + grade pay of INR 7,600|
|As Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax||Basic pay of INR 15,600-39,100 + grade pay of INR 6,600|
|As Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax||Basic pay of INR 15,600-39,100 + grade pay of Basic pay of INR 5,400|
- IRS officers don many roles, the most prominent among them being the crusaders of law enforcement in matters of taxation. They are an asset when it comes to gathering valuable information on tax enforcement regimes in the country. They are recruited at organizations like the central bureau of investigation, research, and analysis wing of the revenue department and intelligence bureau for such roles.
- As the principal commissioner of income tax, the IRS officer gets to serve the country as the chairperson of the Central Board of Direct taxes. This department is directly concerned with the implementation of direct tax laws in the country.
- IRS officers have significant roles in overseas deputations, as well. They have a very profound role in accomplishing by being selected for serving Income tax overseas units. Here they represent Indian missions on projects that serve interests like taxation, pricing, transaction rating, etc.
- In the long and lucrative career of an IRS officer, he gets to serve as Income tax ombudsman and work in various departments like Income tax settlement commissions and income tax appellate tribunals.
- They serve various ministries and establishments that are associated with the central taxation regimes.
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