Tax collectors may not be a favorite among the world, but someone has to do it, and that someone often gets paid a pretty sum. For those brave enough to enter this field, the rewards are many. Tax collectors, or revenue officers as some prefer, do the job of collecting taxes on delinquent tax accounts, as well as many other tasks.
Duties of a Tax Collector
The main duty of a tax collector is to collect debts, but there is much more to this career. You will find the job involves conducting background checks and looking into the finances of those that are not paying. You will also be working with clients facing hard times, and helping them to work out solutions to their tax debts by going over various repayment options. In addition, you will be issuing subpoenas to repeat tax offenders and issuing the seizures of property.
Other duties of the job may include supervising the staff in tax collections, dealing with complaints, reviewing appeals, and hiring and evaluating new staff. This is a career for those that have a lot of persistence, are good with communication, and have excellent computer skills.
Typical or Privatized
Not many people know that not all tax collectors work directly for the government. The typical tax collector works for the Internal Revenue Service, at the local, state, and federal levels. The privatized tax collector, however, works for a private company that is then hired to collect the taxes for the government. This happens when a state decides to pass on the tax-collecting obligation to private companies, in return for a fixed commission. This is typically 24 percent of the total amount collected.
Some people prefer the commission route for the possibility of a higher income, whereas others prefer the guaranteed check in an official government job. Only you could decide and pursue the career path that would work best for you.
A bachelor’s degree is required for most starting positions as a tax collector. Those wishing for higher authority should seek higher education in a master’s degree. The degrees that most strive for are a Bachelor of Science in Finance, Bachelor of Science in Business, and a Master’s of Business Administration in Tax Accounting. Field experience is also required for many career positions.
Besides education, you must have the skills in persuasion and communication. Most of the job will be convincing people to pay their unpaid taxes, which is often not an easy task. This will typically require phone conversations, occasionally in person meetings, and letter writing. For this, you must have a cool head and fast wits, not to mention a demeanor not easily flustered by the talk of people.
This is a career with an excellent outlook, good growth, and a median salary of $50,000. Some people may thrive in “taxing” others, enjoying the investigative work and the action required to get debts paid. Find out more and determine if a career as a tax collector would be right for you.