How Can I Get An Accounting Job With the IRS?

IRS Do you wonder how to get an accounting job with the IRS? Both recent college graduates who are just embarking on their professional journey and experienced professionals who are looking to chart a new career course are invited to explore the possibilities at the IRS website.

Accounting Positions

As one of the largest employers of accountants, it is no surprise that the IRS offers a variety of accounting positions. Internal revenue agents work to aid, educate and advise customers and businesses about the tax rights and responsibilities. Tax specialists offer tax-related consultations and technical guidance, tailor communication materials to encourage and facilitate voluntary compliance with tax law, and run surveys, focus groups and studies to test the value of existing products. Tax compliance officers plan and perform investigations of taxpayers, while appeals officers act as mediators between the IRS and taxpayers who have filed appeals of the agency’s determinations. Tax examiners check tax returns for completeness, answer customer questions regarding their tax filings, and assist with e-help and e-filing.

Educational Requirements

The educational requirements for most accounting positions with the IRS can be met with a mix of education and experience. Certified public accountants meet these requirements, as do people who hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Individuals whose bachelor degrees are in other areas may also qualify if their coursework included at least 30 semester hours of accounting. People without a bachelor degree may qualify if they have at least 30 semester hours of accounting coursework and an appropriate combination of education and experience that is equivalent to four years of academic study. The IRS defines a year of academic study as 30 semester hours; a year of full-time professional accounting experience is considered equal to a year of academic study.

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Other Requirements

While the IRS is an equal opportunity employer, all applicants have to be U.S. citizens. They must provide information for a background check and consent to being fingerprinted. In addition, they must be willing to authorize the IRS to review their past federal tax return filings. Evidence from applicants’ backgrounds may result in them being deemed unsuitable for employment with the IRS. Individuals who have failed to pay a federal debt, have been convicted of an offense that suggests a disrespect for law enforcement or a general lack of integrity, or who have been fired with cause by a previous employer are extremely unlikely to be considered for positions with the IRS.

How to Apply

People seeking accounting positions with the IRS can visit the IRS website to search for job openings, register to be notified by email of any vacancies, and complete job applications. Applicants then go through an assessment process in which their educational accomplishments, professional certifications and job histories are considered. Applicants are ranked as superior, highly qualified or qualified. Those ranked superior are contacted first for the second round of assessment, which includes a written simulation to test their accounting knowledge, a telephone simulation to check their general competency and a final interview with a manager. All applicants are then notified of their final rating. Initial offers are made to those applicants whose final rated was the best.

Related Resource: IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent

People interested in working for the IRS should study the requirements listed on the agency’s website. Whether they are students planning their education, recent graduates beginning their professional careers or experienced professionals seeking a change, the agency’s website offers visitors the information they need in order to get an accounting job with the IRS.