What are the different Career Options in Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
Indian Revenue Service (IRS) is the service under Grade A of the Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the Government of India. This service functions under the Department of Revenue in the Union Ministry of Finance.
IRS comprises two branches – IRS (Customs and Central Excise) and IRS (Income Tax), which are controlled by two separate statutory bodies, i.e., Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) respectively.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is the national agency responsible for administering Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax in India. Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) administers a number of Direct Tax Acts, namely, the Income Tax Act 1961, the Wealth Tax Act 1957, the Gift Tax Act 1958, Interest Tax Act 1974, Securities Transaction Tax Act 2004, Banking Cash Transaction Tax Act 2005 and Fringe Benefit Tax Act 2004, etc.
Indian Revenue Service (IRS): Eligibility
Officer grade – The two sources of entry to Indian Revenue Service are the officers directly recruited through Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC and officers promoted from Income Tax Officers (Class-II) grade.
To enter into a career as IRS officer / officer grade directly one has to pass the Civil Service Examination conducted by UPSC. The minimum qualification required for applying for CSE is graduation from a recognized university. Candidates, who have attained 21 years of age but not attained 30 years of age on August 1st of the year of examination, are eligible to apply.
Civil Service Examination is in two stages- preliminary and main. The preliminary examination (prelims) is the process through which candidates are short listed for the main written examination. Candidates qualifying the main (written) exam are called for personal interview. Based on the marks secured in the main (written) and interview, a merit list is drawn up, which determines the choice of service. The exam is usually held in the month of April.
Junior Grade – For junior level entry into the revenue service, one has to pass the Combined Graduate level Examination by the Staff Selection Commission. This is a less rigorous selection procedure as compared to the Civil Services Examination. Graduates of any discipline between 18 and 27 years are eligible to apply for this exam.
Eligibility for different job positions varies. In Customs & Central Excise and Income tax, eligibility for the posts of Customs officer / Income Tax Officer, Superintendent, Preventive officers/ Inspectors, Tax assistants, upper division Clerks etc is graduation in any discipline, and clearing UPSC and SSC Exams respectively. Plus two candidates can apply for the post of lower division clerks, and 7th class candidates with minimum 175.5 cm height and chest 80 cm can apply for the post of constables. Steno, typists etc need 10th pass. For some posts the board themselves conduct examinations for direct recruitment. The vacancies from time to time will be published in the employment news and leading newspapers.
After being finally selected for the IRS, the new officer recruits undergo a 3 month foundational training at Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie (Uttarakhand). After this, the Customs and Excise officers undergo 15 month rigorous training at National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics, Faridabad, while income tax officers are trained at National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur headed by the Director General of Income Tax (Training). After completion of training, the officers are designated as Assistant Commissioner (Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) / Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), and may rise up to the level of Chief Commissioner with a few fortunate ones reaching the top post of Member/Chairperson (CBDT/CBEC).
Director General of Income Tax (Training) also supervises the functioning of seven Regional Training Institutes at Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh and Ahmeabad and 26 Ministerial Staff Training Units spread over the country.
Main attribute required for IRS aspirants is organising ability. They must be honest, extrovert, dynamic and dedicated people with a high sense of morality, integrity and love for the country. Leadership qualities and communication skills are also essential, to be in this field. One must also be aware of national and international affairs.
Indian Revenue Service (IRS): Job Prospects
Selected candidates in the officer cadre begin their career as Assistant Commissioners of Income Tax and may rise to the level of Chief Commissioners of Income Tax.
Besides the higher grade designations there are several positions in the junior cadre which include Customs / Income Tax Officer, Superintendent, Preventive officers/ Inspectors, Tax assistants, upper division Clerks, Lower division clerks, steno, typists, Constables etc.
Compared to private sector jobs this profession has job security. The salary, allowances and facilities like healthcare, housing, conveyance etc. also make it a lucrative profession. The prestige and power attached to this top-notch job is really great than the salary one earns in this field. IRS candidates can be posted anywhere in the country.