Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents
Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.
Sample of reported job titles: City Tax Auditor, Revenue Agent, Revenue Collector, Revenue Officer, Revenue Specialist, Tax Collector, Tax Compliance Officer, Tax Examiner
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Contact taxpayers by mail or telephone to address discrepancies and to request supporting documentation.
- Send notices to taxpayers when accounts are delinquent.
- 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.
- Answer questions from taxpayers and assist them in completing tax forms.
- Impose payment deadlines on delinquent taxpayers and monitor payments to ensure that deadlines are met.
- Notify taxpayers of any overpayment or underpayment, and either issue a refund or request further payment.
- Confer with taxpayers or their representatives to discuss the issues, laws, and regulations involved in returns, and to resolve problems with returns.
- Enter tax return information into computers for processing.
- Conduct independent field audits and investigations of income tax returns to verify information or to amend tax liabilities.
- Review selected tax returns to determine the nature and extent of audits to be performed on them.
- 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.
- Process individual and corporate income tax returns, and sales and excise tax returns.
- Recommend criminal prosecutions or civil penalties.
- Examine accounting systems and records to determine whether accounting methods used were appropriate and in compliance with statutory provisions.
- Review filed tax returns to determine whether claimed tax credits and deductions are allowed by law.
- Participate in informal appeals hearings on contested cases from other agents.
- Examine and analyze tax assets and liabilities to determine resolution of delinquent tax problems.
- Direct service of legal documents, such as subpoenas, warrants, notices of assessment, and garnishments.
- Secure a taxpayer’s agreement to discharge a tax assessment or submit contested determinations to other administrative or judicial conferees for appeals hearings.
- Determine appropriate methods of debt settlement, such as offers of compromise, wage garnishment, or seizure and sale of property.
- Request that the state or federal revenue service prepare a return on a taxpayer’s behalf in cases where taxes have not been filed.
- Prepare briefs and assist in searching and seizing records to prepare charges and documentation for court cases.
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- Accounting software — Automated tax system software; Fund accounting software; Intuit QuickBooks ; Tax software
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access ; Online databases
- Document management software — Document management system software
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Image processing systems
- Human resources software — ADP Workforce Now
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Optical character recognition OCR software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- 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.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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- 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.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Collect payments for goods or services.
- Update knowledge of legal or regulatory environments.
- Document information related to legal proceedings.
- Correspond with customers to answer questions or resolve complaints.
- Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
- Examine financial records.
- Inform individuals or organizations of status or findings.
- Maintain data in information systems or databases.
- Verify accuracy of financial information.
- Verify accuracy of records.
- Gather financial records.
- Advise others on legal or regulatory compliance matters.
- Examine financial records or processes.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Assess financial status of clients.
- Oversee business processes.
- Communicate with government agencies.
- Negotiate agreements to resolve disputes.
- Develop financial plans for clients.
- Collect evidence for legal proceedings.
- Prepare legal or investigatory documentation.
- Advise others on financial matters.
- Develop financial analysis methods.
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- Telephone — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 82% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Deal With External Customers — 78% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 86% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 56% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 61% responded “Very important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 40% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 32% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “40 hours.”
- Physical Proximity — 59% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 26% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 37% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 27% responded “Fairly serious.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related 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.|
|Job 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.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|32||High school diploma or equivalent
|8||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: CE Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- 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.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$26.75 hourly, $55,640 annual|
|Employment (2020)||56,900 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||4,400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Institute of CPAs
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents
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