Know Your Services | Indian Revenue Service

Catch up on the earlier articles:


  • It is the administrative revenue service of the Central Civil Services of the Government of India
  • The Service functions under the Department of Revenue in the Union Ministry of Finance and is concerned with the collection and administration of the various direct and indirect taxes accruing to the Union Government.
  • IRS serves the nation through discharging one of the most important sovereign functions i.e., collection of revenue for development, security and governance.

IRS comprises two branches:

  1. IRS (Income Tax)
  2. IRS (Customs and Central Excise)
  • They are controlled by two separate statutory bodies, viz., Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) respectively.
  • As an IRS(IT), you are in charge of income tax collection of your area. You can initiate search and raid at small scale. You can be the part or head of the raid team coming from superior office in your area.
  • In IRS(C&CE), you will be either placed in central excise department in industrial area or customs department in case of border/ port/ airport. Wherever placed, you will be most probably in charge. It is kind of a police job where you have uniform (khaki for exile and white for customs with stars on shoulder). You have powers to search, seize and arrest. Especially the COFEPOSA act gives them much power.


  • The selected candidates go through training sessions in different institutes
    Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration(LBSNAA) at Mussoorie- 3 month foundation course
  • National Institute of Financial Management at Faridabad- 15 month professional training for officers of Customs and Excise
  • National Academy of Direct Taxes at Nagpur– 15 month professional training for officers of Income Tax

No cadre system:

  • Since there is no cadre system (it’s a central service not an all India service) in this service, you can expect to be posted anywhere in India and even your home state, which becomes a problem for many in the IAS or IPS
  • The tenures are also more stable with an average of 3 years unlike the other two services where one may not even complete a month and the average tenure is around a year or so

Comparing with IAS:

  • Ground touch:
    It is lesser than IAS but here you deal with big shots-the riches and Industrialists.
  • The power to challenge them and to raid on them may give you satisfaction <You can even raid IAS officers>

Political Interference:
It is minimal because the absolute power is in the hand of IRS officers and there is no ground on which politicians can threaten them. Also, generally, they have no direct contact with politicians.

  • Hierarchy:
    If we see it in theoretical terms then IAS is on top because he/she is the boss of highest IRS officers – Chairpersons of CBDT and CBSE. Revenue Secretary is generally an IAS officer.
  • But regarding the inter service hierarchy, IRS officers are responsible to their bosses only, which results in almost zero political interference.

However, with changing times, more and more IRS officers are serving in departments and areas that used to exclusively be the forte of IAS officers. This widening of opportunities and exposure has made the IRS more attractive

Diversification of Career:

  • Not as diversified as IAS but far better than other private sector jobs at least
  • You can be posted in ED, on airports, on border checkposts, on ports, in other enforcement and investigation agencies and even in international agencies if you have caliber
  • If you are exceptional and have good administrative capabilities, you may be posted as a head of some PSU
  • Top posts of CIC, CVC etc are open for IRS officers. In fact K.V.Chowdhary, retired IRS officer is the present CVC of India.

And of course you can always become a chief minister!

Family life: Best balance of family life and work is in IRS.


  • No uniform for IRS-IT
  • But for IRS-C&CE ,the khaki for central excise with stars on the shoulders and I.R.S. tag as shoulder plate same as IPS
  • For Customs- White uniform with black and golden shoulder strips like navy
  • No uniform from above the level of Deputy Commissioner

Ranks & Equivalent Salary Structure:
The equivalent ranks from IPS or IAS are given in table. You can check respective pay from earlier articles.

Published with inputs from Swapnil
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By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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