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Details for Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents


Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.


  • Collect taxes from individuals or businesses according to prescribed laws and regulations.
  • Maintain knowledge of tax code changes, and of accounting procedures and theory to properly evaluate financial information.
  • Maintain records for each case, including contacts, telephone numbers, and actions taken.
  • Confer with taxpayers or their representatives to discuss the issues, laws, and regulations involved in returns, and to resolve problems with returns.
  • Contact taxpayers by mail or telephone to address discrepancies and to request supporting documentation.
  • Send notices to taxpayers when accounts are delinquent.
  • Notify taxpayers of any overpayment or underpayment, and either issue a refund or request further payment.
  • Conduct independent field audits and investigations of income tax returns to verify information or to amend tax liabilities.
  • Review filed tax returns to determine whether claimed tax credits and deductions are allowed by law.
  • Review selected tax returns to determine the nature and extent of audits to be performed on them.
  • Enter tax return information into computers for processing.
  • Examine accounting systems and records to determine whether accounting methods used were appropriate and in compliance with statutory provisions.
  • Process individual and corporate income tax returns, and sales and excise tax returns.
  • Impose payment deadlines on delinquent taxpayers and monitor payments to ensure that deadlines are met.
  • Check tax forms to verify that names and taxpayer identification numbers are correct, that computations have been performed correctly, or that amounts match those on supporting documentation.
  • Examine and analyze tax assets and liabilities to determine resolution of delinquent tax problems.
  • Recommend criminal prosecutions or civil penalties.
  • Determine appropriate methods of debt settlement, such as offers of compromise, wage garnishment, or seizure and sale of property.
  • Secure a taxpayer's agreement to discharge a tax assessment, or submit contested determinations to other administrative or judicial conferees for appeals hearings.
  • Prepare briefs, and assist in searching and seizing records to prepare charges and documentation for court cases.
  • Direct service of legal documents, such as subpoenas, warrants, notices of assessment and garnishments.
  • Request that the state or federal revenue service prepare a return on a taxpayer's behalf in cases where taxes have not been filed.
  • Investigate claims of inability to pay taxes by researching court information for the status of liens, mortgages, or financial statements, or by locating assets through third parties.
  • Install systems of recording costs or other financial and budgetary data or provide advice on such systems, based on examination of current financial records.
  • Participate in informal appeals hearings on contested cases from other agents.


  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Related Careers

  • Accountants
  • Actuaries
  • Appraisers, Real Estate
  • Assessors
  • Credit Analysts
  • Insurance Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators
  • Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
  • Tax Preparers
Wages for this career
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