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How to Become a Tax Collector

Career News August 27, 2013

A tax collector is someone who works for the government and collects taxes, ensuring that people or businesses pay their taxes on time. This is a job that will keep you moving, as you will be both an investigator of sorts and a customer service representative. You may have to track down delinquent tax filers while also finding ways to retrieve what is owed. Tax collectors are also called revenue officers since their main duty is to gather money owed to the government. You may work at the federal, state or local level.

Education is Mandatory

You can’t work for the IRS without having a bachelor’s degree, though many students are now going after their master’s degree. Subjects of study can be Bachelor of Science in Business, a Bachelor of Science in Finance or in Accounting. Even criminal justice may serve as a relevant study for some position. If you want to stick around for your master’s degree, it will take an additional two years of study.

Part of your training will involve learning communication skills, since you will be dealing with a variety of people. You will need to learn how to negotiate with people, particularly individuals who are behind on their payments, as well as computer skills. You will probably find yourself working with tax returns, audits, overdue payments, and other tax problems. The working environment can be in an office or even out in the field doing audits in a taxpayer’s homes or business offices. Naturally, quantitative skills are needed since you will be responsible for researching a person’s account and determining their ability to pay taxes.

More Advice on Becoming an IRS Tax Collector

You may also have to decide whether or not to take a lien on a taxpayer’s assets or file for wage garnishment. This information will likely have to take place in a court of law. Of course, the less force is required, the better and the IRS will be happy to hire applicants who can stay professional and yet persistent and someone who can help taxpayers catch up with their payments.

Once you have land a job, you will have to invest more time in study as firms will train you on the job, sometimes as long as two years. This is where you can learn from an experienced tax collector. The IRS is truly open when it comes to offering training to new hires, and this includes arranging for classrooms or even online courses for continuing education. Even better, the IRS has some tuition reimbursement programs in case you need some motivation to return to school.

In preparation for the application process, you should do a background and credit check on yourself and spouse to ensure that your record is clean, since the IRS will analyze these data closely. A driver’s license is typically required since you may have to meet people at their houses on occasion.

While this is a job has tremendous responsibilities and high pressure, it is still a well paying job, and one that doesn’t require a great deal of accomplishment beyond a bachelor’s degree. Still, work experience will always be welcome, so attaining some work before graduation is always commendable. The median annual wage for tax collectors is approximately $49,000, and the profession is expected to grow through the end of this decade. Why not make it a goal to become a tax collector and start your training now?

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