IRS: Indian Revenue Service

IRS stands for Indian Revenue Service, considered a central civil service branch of the Government of India. IRS works under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. 

The main purpose of the IRS is to collect and administer all the direct and indirect taxes from the citizens and categorize them accordingly. There are two parts of the IRS as Indian Revenue Service for Income Tax and the second is Indian Revenue Service for Custom and Indirect Taxes. 

These two categories are handled and controlled by two different statutory bodies, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). 

Functions of IT and CIT:

The functions and duties of the IRS (IT) are:

  • Formulation of domestic direct tax policy is done through the Tax Policy and Legislation Section.
  • Next comes the formulation of International tax policy, this is done through the Foreign Tax and Tax Research Division.
  • Handling different policy matters concerning the investigation of tax evasion, this duty is done through the Investigation Section
  • The next important function is changing, updating, resolving and maintenance of the relevant laws and that is through the ITA Division, 
  • Administration of the direct tax policy is done through its own field offices across the country.
  • One of the main duties is to fight against the black money of the country.
  • Administration of all the connected administrative functions related to direct taxes. 
  • The functions of the IRS (C&IT) include enforcement and formulation of policy relating to the Goods and Services Tax, also the prevention of smuggling, and the administration and reporting of all of the matters related to Customs and Narcotics.


There are a few steps that need to be followed if one is interested to join the Indian Revenue Services. 

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • An aspirant must have a graduation degree from a known university with good grades.
  • The university must be recognized by the Government of India.
  • The minimum age requirement is 22 years and the maximum is 32 years.
  • As the subject is tough, the government has made it easy for the candidate by providing 6 attempts to pass the exam.

The exam for IRS is conducted by the UPSC board and is divided into three categories: Preliminary, Mains, and the Interview process. 

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • IRS officers are regarded as the guardians of the Economic Borders.
  • These officers are in charge of law enforcement and intelligence organizations such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Research and Intelligence Bureau, Analysis Wing, etc. 
  • The main role of IRS officers is to supervise the Tax and Customs department.
  • Whenever there is any type of Tax Evasion, these officers step in and study the matter thoroughly by solving the issue.
  • They have the power to seize illegal wealth and can carry out arrest procedures for the culprits.
  • The IRS officers play a major role in exposing and probing the scams and frauds that occur at medium to a high levels. 
  • It is the responsibility of the IRS officers to protect the country from illegal smuggling and safeguard the economic borders. 
  • IRS officers conduct patrolling missions all over the country covering major and minor target areas to protect the country from illegal practices and frauds. 
  • Other known duties of these officers are collecting taxes from citizens and businessmen.
  • They also work on issuing over dues and refunds in any case.
  • The retirement plans and PF plans also come under their duties. 
  • IRS officers are good at conducting an investigation related to all types of crimes. 

Training of IRS officers:

After the aspirant passes the UPSC exam for the post of IRS officer, they are given intense training by the National Academy of Direct Taxes which is located in Nagpur. 

There are steps in the training academy that the candidate must follow for proper completion of the module training. The foundation course is basically for 6 months wherein the officers are trained thoroughly in every aspect.

Categories like taxation, policies, allied laws, accounting, fiscal policy, public finances, etc are covered in detail. The officers are sent on various field trips to get practical exposure to the reality which they will be dealing with in the future. 

Apart from India, the IRS officers are also sent to the foreign country to get the best idea of the taxation practices of other countries too.

Before they are given their role and duties, the expert officer will check if the particular candidate is ready to handle the duties or not, in case they feel that the candidate required more training then they are again sent to training which completely depends on the candidate and the academy. 


IRS officers are considered Royal guards of the country, it is a prestigious post and job hence government has given some special benefits to these officers. 

The salary of IRS officers is good along with incentives and bonuses. They are given residence for living with a cook, house help, watchmen, driver, and maid. All the expense is taken care of by the government, the water bill, internet charges are also given to the officers. 

IRS officers can opt for a pension after retirement and there is no compulsory age for retirement. If the IRS officer is on job and is required to visit any state or country then all the hotel stay, food and tickets will be provided by the government. 

As we have discussed so many benefits of an IRS officer, it is logical that the post is considered a special post hence the exam conducted for IRS is designed to select the best candidate. 

The aspirant must prepare himself thoroughly by taking proper coaching and doing hard work. He must full fill all the required criteria while attempting the UPSC exam for the IRS post.