IRS officer is the fourth most respected officer of Civil Services after the IAS’s, IPS’s and IFS’s. They are comprises of IRS (C&CE) and IRS (IT). IRS officers are concerned with the collection, administration and policy formation of direct (Income, Corporate, Wealth, FBT etc.) and indirect (Central Excise, Service Tax and even Customs Duty) taxes. These officers are the tax administrators of India. They are either under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) or the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance.

These are the officers who hold the responsibility of having a check on the proper collection of the revenue through taxes of the Governments whether Central or State which is a big source of income of the Governments concerned. It is the income which is used by the respective Governments for the welfare programmes to be implemented for the common people of the state. Thus one can say these officers are indirectly responsible for the proper functioning of the welfare schemes by generating requisite funds for them by way of collecting the revenue of the governments in effective manner thus making this profession a highly important one.

This profession not only provides self satisfaction to be at the very best, highly respected post in the Indian administrative system but also give you a chance to serve the society by taking head on some antisocial elements of the country.

But to reach at this coveted position one has to be really diligent and hardworking. To reach to that level one has to really toil hard for nearly 2 years and pass through a rigorous test involving written tests and interview spreading through out a year almost which requires self-discipline, patience, punctuality, commitment self-confidence and a burning desire to be at the top ladder of an important organization of the country. The is a kind of carrier which is ever demanding you can not get relaxed after getting the post infect you have to work harder after getting the job then before getting it.

To be an (IRS) officer is not a mean thing. If you enjoy power then you have also to accept the responsibility attached with the bound less power. To handle things effectively a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules, good team spirit is required as this is not a time bound job. This is a carrier in which you are not only supposed to work yourself only but you have to make your team to work hard for the society you have vowed to serve while joining this career.

Eligibility to be an IRS Officer

1. Educational Qualification

To be eligible for becoming an IRS officer the candidate must possess a degree from an Indian University or an equivalent qualification. Those in the final year of a degree course can also appear in the Preliminary Examination taken every year by UPSC.

2. Age
The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years on 1st August of the year of examination and must not have attained 30 years of age on that date.

The upper age limit will be relaxed by 3 years for OBC candidates and 5 years for SC/ST candidates.

The upper age limit is also relaxed in favor of Defense Services Personnel.

3. Other Eligibility Conditions

Since these services involves various kind of decision making so taking into account the sensitivity of the job the aspirants have to be eligible under certain specific conditions as given ahead.
  • a citizen of India, or
  • a subject of Nepal, or
  • a subject of Bhutan, or
  • a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  • a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

How to become an IRS officer?

To be an IRS officer one has to follow the below given steps:-

Step 1

As a first step the aspirant has to procure the “Application Form” along with “Information Brochure” from any of the “Head Post Offices or Post Offices” spread throughout the country and sent the filled Application form to:

The Secretary,
Union Public Service Commission,
Dholpur House,
New Delhi - 110011.

Note:- The notification for the examination with relevant details regarding rules and syllabus is published in the month of December in the 'Employment News' / 'Rozgar Samachar' , 'Gazette of India', and in some leading Newspapers of the country.

Step 2

In the month of May or June the aspirants have to take the “Preliminary examinations”. Consisting of two papers. The papers are of
S.No Paper Marks
1 General Studies 150 marks
2 Optional Paper 300 marks
The optional subject for the second paper may be chosen from the following given subjects -1. Agriculture 2. Animal Husbandry and veterinary science 3. Botany 4. Chemistry 5. Civil Engineering 6. Commerce 7.Economics 8. Electrical Engineering 9 Geography 10. Geology 11.Indian History 12.Law 13. Mathematics 14.Mechanical Engineering 15. Philosophy 16. Physics 17. Political Science 18. Psychology 19. Public Administration 20. Sociology 21. Statistics 22. Zoology

Note:- This exam is just a qualifying exam for the Final exam and scores obtained in this exam are not added to make the final result.

Step 3

Those candidates who are declared qualified in the “Preliminary examination” are supposed to take the final exam (normally held in the month of October) having following papers
S.No Paper Marks
1 1 Essay type Indian Language Qualifying Paper 300 marks
2 1 English Qualifying Paper 300 marks
3 1 General Essay type paper 200 marks
4 2 General Studies papers 300 marks each
5 4 Optional subjects papers 300 marks each

Step 4

Once you are through the final stage is the interview. The aspirants are grilled in the interview to test their personality and mental ability. Then the final list of the successful candidates is prepared and the candidates who have secured very good rank out of 400-450(approx.) selected IRS Officer Trainees (nick named as OTs) undergo a 3 month foundational training with their fellow officers from All India Services and other Central Services (Group A) at Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) Mussorrie (Uttarakhand) followed by a 15 month rigorous professional training in NACEN Faridabad for the officers of Customs and Excise or NADT Nagpur for officers of Income Tax, where they are intensively trained in principles, concepts and advances in Management, Taxation. Public Policy and Law.

IRS Officer Salary/Pay Scale

1. The Government of India has fixed salary grades for IRS officers. Although keep on changing with new pay

Note: The scales only provide an idea of the pay scales. Different branches of the services have different scales of pay. Even personnel of same branches may have different pay according to their area of posting and responsibility they are holding at a particular time.

In addition to the salary IRS officers receive various types of allowances such as Dearness Allowance, City compensatory Allowance, Leave Travel Allowance, Medical and subsidized housing.

IRS Officer Career Prospects

Starting with the prestigious post of
  • Assistant Commissioner (Starting of the ladder)
IRS officers rise up to
  • Chief Commissioner 
with some fortunate ones reaching the post of
  • Member/Chairperson - CBDT / CBEC (Apex of the ladder)

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