UPSC Civil Services: Everything you need to know about the Indian Revenue Service (IRS)

Indian Revenue Service

Indian Revenue Service (IRS) is the largest Group ‘A’ Central Service among the organised services in Government of India.

IRS has two branches, IRS (Income Tax) and IRS (Custom & Central Excise), which perform the role of levy and collection of direct and indirect taxes respectively. Customs is levied on goods which are imported and Excise is levied on goods manufactured within the country. Ministry of Finance is the Cadre Controlling Authority for IRS (IT) and IRS(C&CE).

Recruitment

Officers in IRS are recruited through the following two modes:

    • Direct entry through Civil Service Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
    • On promotion from post of Income Tax Officer (ITO)

Hierarchy of IRS officers in field formations are as follows:

A B
Designation Pay Scale
Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Rs 80,000
Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Rs 75,500-80,000
Principal Commissioner of Income Tax Rs 67,000-79,000
Commissioner of Income Tax Rs 37, 400-67,000 + Grade Pay of Rs 10,000
Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Rs 37, 400-67,000 + Grade Pay of Rs 8,700
Joint Commissioner of Income Tax Rs. 15,600-39,100 + grade pay of Rs. 7,600
Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax Rs. 15,600-39,100 + grade pay of Rs. 6,600
Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax* Rs. 15,600-39,100 + grade pay of Rs. 5,400

*Assistant Commissioner is the entry level rank that IRS officers are allotted on joining office. #Salary based on 6th Pay Commission figures.

Role of IRS officers:

    • Tax administration– Levy and collection of tax is an important function which IRS officers perform. Officers also have quasi-judicial, investigative and prosecution duties to perform.
    • Policy formation– All tax related legislation, manuals and orders are suggested by this cadre of officers through two boards- Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Customs & Central Excise (CBEC)
    • International Ramifications – All international agreements which have tax related matters require the expertise of IRS officers to negotiate. So, they are also posted in country’s foreign offices abroad.  
    • Economic Offences– With the economy growing day by day, need for people with expertise in detecting and investigating economic crimes will also increase. Thus, IRS is a service whose scope will expand by the second.  

Deputation

IRS officers can be deputed in other departments as well like Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers.

Training includes entry level training and advanced mid-career training like other services. There is also scope for specializing in different aspects of tax administration.