How Can You Get a Job With the IRS?

IRSIt is not every person who seeks to get a job with the IRS, the United States Internal Revenue Service. Although it is among the most necessary parts of the United States government, bringing in the bulk of the revenue the government uses to fund its many programs, it is among the least loved, for people do not always appreciate paying for the services they receive. For those who are willing to press ahead in civil service despite such aspersions, there are means to find employment with the IRS, means which will differ based upon the type of employment sought with the agency.

Types of Jobs

The IRS notes on its website that there are a number of divisions and principal offices within the agency, each of which will have different demands of its employees. The divisions (Wage and Investment, Large Business and International, Small Business/Self-Employed and Tax-Exempt and Government Entities) treat those who receive payments and who make them. The other offices (Office of Chief Counsel; Taxpayer Advocate Service; Criminal Investigation; Appeals; Return Preparer Office; Office of Professional Responsibility; Communications and Liaison; Whistleblower Office and Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure) attend to the legal and legalistic affairs of the agency, oversee tax return preparation by individuals and agents and communicate with the public and its representatives. As such, jobs with the IRS will often require training in accounting, usually a Bachelor’s in Accounting or in a closely related field with substantial accounting training. Those in the divisions, the Taxpayer Advocate Service and the Return Preparer Office will be most narrowly accounting jobs, although Criminal investigation, Appeals, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Whistleblower Office will also use much accounting knowledge. The Office of Chief Counsel, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Office of Professional Responsibility and Whistleblower Office will also benefit from legal training, while Criminal Investigation will benefit from criminal justice training and both Communications and Liaison and Governmental Liaison and Disclosure will be good fits for those in public relations or related fields.

Getting the Jobs

The IRS is a division of the United States government, and as such, job opportunities with the agency are posted to USAJobs.gov. A simple keyword search for “IRS” on the system will yield all currently open positions; the application then becomes something as simple as registering with the USAJobs system and filling out the required electronic forms as directed. Most governmental jobs, not just with the IRS but also with other agencies, demand a resume. Since most IRS jobs will require specific types of formal education (as noted above), transcripts from undergraduate and, when applicable, graduate curricula will need to be sent in, as well; this can be done either through uploading copies or through having official copies sent from the college or university to the IRS itself. Government jobs are obliged to give hiring preference to veterans, so those claiming veterans’ preference will also have to submit copies of their DD-214 forms, with additional paperwork necessary for those who claim special preference within the veterans’ category. Although they are often officially optional, cover letters are usually good to send along. Well crafted, they can greatly increase an applicant’s chance of working with the IRS.

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Many opportunities exist for people to enter civil service, and there are many rewards for doing so. Hopefully, the above information on how to get a job with the IRS will be of help to some of those who seek to do so.