Income Tax Officer Career Information
What an Income Tax Officer does
The Apex body of the Income Tax Department is the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which is manned by the officers of the Indian Revenue Service. This body is the administrative head of the Income Tax Department and functions under the Finance Ministry of India.
The Income tax department operates out of various geographical regions, which are a collection of states. For e.g. the North West region comprises of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh; the Western region consists of the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. You will be working in any of the following directorates:
Directorate of Taxes Your immediate work as an income tax officer, will involve assessment and collection of taxes like Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax, etc. You will verify that the accounts for private individuals, companies, industries, educational institutions, etc have been audited accurately. As an income tax officer have to see to it that all the proper taxes as applicable have been levied and also grant exemptions wherever required by law.
Directorate of Appeals Here you will look at all the appeals filed for a refund or reassessment. As an income tax officer will have to decide if the case merits an appeal. You will have to redo the entire auditing procedure. In the event that the government has deducted more tax than it is entitled to, you will have to ensure that the extra amount is refunded as soon as possible.
Directorate of Investigation In this department as an income tax officer you will be snooping around to find all elusive 'black money'- the term commonly associated with undeclared wealth. You will identify individuals and organisations withholding money or owning assets like cars, bungalows, etc. which are above and beyond the reach of their declared income. As an income tax officer you will then conduct surprise raids to recover the wealth, which could be in the form of cash, jewellery or immovable property such as a house.
At the senior level, you will be working in the Central Board of Direct Taxes. Here you will plan tax legislations as per the directive of the government and over see their implementation. You will also need to come up with new and innovative schemes like VDIS (Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme) to encourage more people to pay their taxes and disclose their hidden wealth.
The main training centre for Income tax officers is The National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) located at Nagpur. Officers of the IRS (Indian Revenue Service) join here after completing their initial training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Musorrie.
Here you will be provided in depth training in direct tax laws, accountancy, administrative rules and procedures and basic understanding of other relevant laws. Training will also be provided on software packages such as Lotus Smart Suite, MS-Office, Visual Fox Pro, Tally etc will also be exposed to modern managerial concepts as well as skills and techniques of effective investigation.
As an Income Tax Officer, you will then be posted in any of the different directorates in the various regions. Along with your work you will be provided refresher and advanced courses at The Direct Taxes Regional Training Institute (DTRTI) in your region. The programme here is conducted in the form of workshops, case studies, group discussion, seminars and panel discussions to encourage field officers to come up with ideas and solutions.
If you join in as an Income tax inspector, you can rise up to the level of an income tax officer grade II and then to grade I.
If you join in as Assistant commissioner of Income tax, your career growth is as follows:
• Joint/ Additional Commissioner of Income Tax: after 9 years of service
• Commissioner of Income Tax: after 14 years of service
• Joint/ Deputy Director of Income Tax: between 15 to 18 years of service
• Director/Chief Commissioner of Income Tax: after 18 years of service
At the level of chief commissioner of income tax, you can get the opportunity to serve as a member of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. Here you can scale up to be the chairman of this board, which is a very prestigious post.
After retirement at any level, you will be well sought-after by various industries as a consultant.
Abilities & Traits Required
As an income tax officer you need:
• Above average organising abilities
• Excellent communication skills
• Extrovert and dynamic personality
• Sound mathematical and logical skills
• Strong leadership qualities
• Willingness to travel and work in new places
• Awareness about national and international affairs
• Interest in human affairs
The Income Tax Department recruits at two levels. Direct recruitment is made to the Indian Revenue Service at the level of Assistant Commissioners of Income Tax, through an open examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Recruitment at the level of Income Tax Inspectors and below is done by the Staff Selection Commission.
To join in as an assistant commissioner of Income tax, you have to qualify through the Indian Civil Services examination.
There are two stages in the written examination - Preliminary and final exam. If you qualify in the Preliminary examination, then you will be called for the final examination.
After you clear the final examination you will be called for an interview and personality test. If you are among the select few who manage to get through the ICS examination, then on the basis of your position in the merit list and your preference you will be allotted the various services like the IAS, IPS, IFS or the IRS.
You can also join in directly as an income tax inspector. For this you need to be a graduate in any discipline and between the age group of 20-25 years
The examination for this grade consists of two parts:
The written exam consists of an objective type question paper on the topics of General Intelligence, General English, Numerical Ability and General Awareness.
This is followed by a personal interview after which the final merit list is put up.
For officers recruited by staff selection commission -
• Income Tax Inspector Rs 20000-30000
• Income Tax Officer II Rs 32000-40000
• Income Tax Officer I Rs 40000-45000
For officers recruited by union Public Service Commission (Indian Civil Service) -
• CCIT/DGIT Rs 22400-24500
• Joint/ Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Rs 25000 – 30000
• Commissioner of Income Tax / DIT Rs 32000 – 40000
• Deputy Director/ AD Rs 25000 –30000
• Director of Income Tax Rs 32000 - 45000
The pay structure in civil services is embellished by handsome allowances. One not only enjoys the bureaucratic powers to an extent but also many privileges like free accommodation, conveyance, telephone facility, retirement benefits etc.