There are many opportunities for accounting majors for employment with the IRS. One of these is as an IRS Revenue agent. You can obtain an entry-level position if you have a Bachelor's degree or higher in accounting or business from an accredited university. The degree program should include thirty semester hours (ten courses) in accounting. If you are a certified public accountant you also have the educational requirements for this position. It is also a requirement that you are a US citizen in order to obtain such a position. You will receive the training you need for this position when you obtain a job.
Some of the duties that you will be required to perform as an IRS Revenue agent include making decisions and interacting with clients in reviewing income tax returns and determining whether there are any mistakes that affect the amount of taxes owed. Your clients will include individuals, and businesses, which means you will interact with a diverse group of professionals in the accounting industry. The tools used in this position include the latest in technology and telecommunications, which will make the accounting work easier.
In order to be an IRS Revenue agent you need a thorough knowledge of the changes in taxation laws and practices as well as the various practices used in businesses and government agencies. You will start off in a junior position with the Small Business and Self-Employed Division conducting examinations of the income tax returns to determine the tax liability of the taxpayers in this category. Another division in which you may gain employment is that of the Tax-Exempt and Government Entities in which you will work to ensure that organizations and businesses are complying with taxation
laws. As you gain more experience you can gain a promotion to a position with more responsibility and more challenging cases, such as that of an agent working with mid and larger size businesses.
The on-the-job training that you receive when you obtain a job as an IRS Revenue Agent is a combination of classroom work and practical experience. In the classroom you will learn about tax law, how to write reports, the nuts and bolts of detecting fraud, how to develop good working relationships with taxpayers and how to do detailed research regarding income tax claims. Following this you will work with an experienced agent to help you apply this knowledge in real life cases. Once you succeed in this part of the training, you will then advance to more in-depth training of each of the issues and receive training on the accounting software and other computer applications that the IRS uses.
There are many possibilities for advancing in your career once you obtain a position as an IRS Revenue agent. The entry-level position is called the GS-5. Then you can advance to the GS-7, GS-9 and eventually reach the top level at the GS-11. You can actually qualify for a promotion every year until you reach the GS-11 level if you demonstrate exceptional performance in your job. Then there are the managerial positions at the GS-12 and GS-13 levels, but the vacancy levels depend of staff shortages due to retirements, so there are not a lot of openings at these levels.
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