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Revenue Agent Career

Career Description

A Revenue Agent specializes in tax-related accounting work for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and for equivalent agencies in State and local governments.

Common Work Tasks

  • Audit returns for accuracy
  • Handle complicated income, sales, and excise tax returns of businesses and large corporations
  • Keep abreast of the lengthy, complex, and frequently changing tax code
  • Search the internet for relevant legal bulletins, IRS notices, and tax-related court decisions
  • Use computers to analyze data and identify trends that help pinpoint tax offenders
  • Use revenue adjustment reports forwarded by the IRS to determine whether adjustments made by Federal revenue agents affect a taxpayer’s taxable income in the eyes of the States
  • Perform field audits or office audits of financial records for business firms
  • Work with taxpayers on how to settle their debts
  • Research court information on the status of liens, mortgages, or financial statements; locate assets through third parties,  such as neighbors or local departments of motor vehicles; and request legal summonses for other records
  • Impose and follow up on delinquent taxpayers’  payment deadlines

Other Job Titles

Revenue Agents are also known by other titles, including:

  • Tax Examiner and Collector
  • Collector
  • Revenue Officer
  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Financial Analyst

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  A revenue agent usually must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration,  economics, or a related discipline or a combination of education and full-time business administration, accounting, or auditing work. Revenue agents with the IRS must have either a bachelor’s degree or 30 semester hours of accounting coursework along with specialized experience. Specialized experience includes full-time work in accounting, bookkeeping, or tax analysis.

      Revenue agents work with confidential financial and personal information; therefore,  trustworthiness is crucial for maintaining the confidentiality of individuals and businesses. Applicants for Federal Government jobs must submit to a background investigation. Revenue agents also need strong analytical,  organizational, and time management skills. They also must be able to work independently, because they spend so much time away from their home office, and they must keep current with changes in the tax code and laws.


The median annual salary of a Revenue Agent is $47,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $87,000 annually, and the bottom 10 percent earn less than $28,000 annually. Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of revenue agents are:

  • Federal Executive Branch - $62,000
  • State Government - $46,670
  • Local Government - $38,650

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  2%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 1,700
  • Employment 2006 : 81,000
  • Employment 2016:  82,000
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