revenue agent

What does a Revenue Agent do?

A revenue agent works for local, state, and federal governments reviewing tax returns, conducting audits, identifying any owed taxes, and collecting overdue tax payments. They ensure that the state, local, and federal governments are able to collect tax money from citizens and businesses that may owe. They work primarily in an office but may do field audits at local businesses or a taxpayers home when necessary.

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How to Become a Tax Collector, Examiner, and Revenue Agent

Degrees vary in this occupational career field. Tax examiners require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Whereas, revenue agents require a bachelor’s degree in economics, accounting, business administration, or a related field. Some employers may accept education and relevant experience in auditing, accounting or tax compliance work as a substitute to work as a revenue agent or tax examiner, though it is becoming very uncommon nowadays. One wishing to gain employment with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) must earn a bachelor’s degree and specialized experience. Aspirants who wish to work for the IRS need either 30 semester hours of accounting coursework along with specialized experience or must earn a bachelor’s degree.

Collectors must typically have a combination of college education in a related field and specialized experience. Work experience such as credit manager or loan officer is usually common. A candidate for employment as a collector with the IRS requires a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, and criminal justice experience may not be substituted for this position.

Job Description of a Tax Collector, Examiner, and Revenue Agent

The duties of tax collectors, examiners, and revenue agents include reviewing filed tax returns to determine whether certain deductions and credits are allowed by law. They also conduct investigations and field audits of income tax returns to update tax liabilities or verify information. They contact taxpayers to request supporting documentation and address problems.

They evaluate financial information and keep records on each case they work on. They must notify taxpayers of any underpayment or overpayment and then collect or refund the payment. Because there are three areas of specialists in this job their duties vary according to their expertise. Here is a quick overview of the difference for a tax collector, examiner, and revenue agent. A tax collector collects overdue tax payments from businesses and consumers. A tax examiner review, process tax returns and may contact taxpayers to resolve any problems with their returns. A revenue agent specializes in accounting for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state and local governments.

Revenue Agent Career Video Transcript

Governments provide services and infrastructure such as schools and roads… how is it all paid for? Taxes provide income to pay government costs, and tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents ensure that governments receive tax money that is owed by businesses and citizens. Tax examiners deal with simple tax returns filed by small businesses and individual taxpayers. They review returns and enter them into a computer system for processing, ensuring that credits and deductions are lawful. They also may contact individual taxpayers to resolve issues. Collectors deal with overdue accounts.

If a taxpayer makes no effort to pay, the case is assigned to a collector to settle the debt, whether by setting up a payment plan, claiming assets, or taking a portion of earned wages to collect taxes owed. Revenue agents specialize in tax-related accounting for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and for state and local governments. Like tax examiners, they review returns. However, revenue agents handle complicated tax returns from large businesses and corporations Most tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents work full-time, in an office environment; some conduct field audits in taxpayers’ homes or places of business. Generally, a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field is required to enter these fields, although education and experience requirements vary by position and employer.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents.

National Center for O*NET Development. 13-2081.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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