IRS Agent Career Overview
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hires agents to investigate financial crimes within their criminal investigation branch. IRS agents combine accounting skills with traditional investigation techniques to detect crimes like tax fraud and dishonest reporting. Working as an IRS agent is a great way to establish a law enforcement career at the highest levels of government, and the IRS offers excellent health and retirement benefits.
IRS Agents Education
Education requirements for IRS agents vary depending on the position level. At the entry level, applicants must hold a four-year bachelor's degree plus fifteen semester hours of accounting courses and nine semester hours in a related field, such as banking and tax law. Once hired, the IRS provides extensive training and has a tuition assistance program for employees continuing their education. Online degree programs often make sense for applicants lacking required education.
IRS Agent Employment
Today there are approximately 81,000 tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents, 44 percent of which work for the federal government or IRS. New technology and increased information sharing among tax agencies has made the detection of financial crimes easier, leading to a higher number of audit cases.
IRS Agent Job Description
Employment of tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents is expected to grow by 2 percent from 2006 to 2016, which is lower than average. However, many employees are expected to retire, leading to openings at all levels of government.
IRS Agent Salary Range
IRS agents' earnings vary greatly according to experience and education. *Entry-level to mid-level IRS agents earn between $41,000 and $52,000 per year, while upper level agents may earn up to $65,000.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics