IRS vs IAS: Salary, Promotion, Difference between IAS and IRS

By K Balaji|Updated : November 9th, 2022

IAS and IRS have recognised jobs offered by the government of India. IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service, and IRS stands for Indian Revenue Service. However, the recruitment process for IAS and IRS posts is the same. The UPSC exam is one of the toughest examinations in the country. It is officially called Civil Services Examination (CSE) and is conducted annually by the central recruiting agency, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

This article will help candidates understand the difference between IAS and IRS and which to choose between the two services for better decision-making. The article will discuss the comparison of IAS vs IRS, salary and rank increments, perks and benefits, etc., below.

Table of Content

IAS (Indian Administrative Service)

Before learning the difference between IAS and IRS, it is important to learn about each service in detail. The IAS full form is the Indian Administrative Service, an important wing of All India Services. This is an administrative arm. It is mentioned in India's constitution, which is why it is known as the constitutional body. Part XIV of Article 312(2) of the Constitution of India and the All India Services Act, 1951 specifies the modern IAS.


The UPSC exam is the first step a candidate needs to clear to become an IAS officer. A few IAS officer duties are,

  • Law and Order Maintenance in the district.
  • Catalysis between government and public issues.
  • Reviewing of the policy documents.
  • Staff Management.
  • Admin Work.

IRS (Indian Revenue Service)

IRS full form is Indian Revenue Service, which is the Civil Service allotted the duty of revenue collection across the country. IRS officer is not only responsible for collecting revenue but also for the implementation of direct tax laws. The basic entry-level IRS officer salary range is Rs. 15,600 to Rs. 39,100 and can go up to Rs. 80,000 with rank increment.

The IRS's primary function is collecting and managing the various direct and indirect taxes, accruing the same to the Union Government. IRS comprises two branches: IRS (Income Tax) and IRS (Customs and Central Excise). Candidates looking to become an IRS officer shall clear all stages of the IRS exam. The basic functions of an IRS Officer are given below, which must be read properly to understand the IRS vs IAS difference:

  • Tax Administration
  • Formulation of Policies
  • Curbing Black Money

IAS vs IRS Salary

Depending upon the grade pay and pay scale of the officers, the equivalent ranks of IAS vs IRS are shown in the table provided below:

Pay Scale

IRS Officer Rank

IAS Officer Rank

Rs. 15,600 - 39,100

(grade pay: Rs. 5,400)

Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax

Sub Divisional Magistrate/Assistant Collector

Rs. 15,600 - 39,100

(grade pay: Rs. 6600)

Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax

Under/Deputy Secretary to Government of India/Additional Deputy Commissioner/Joint Collector/Additional District Magistrate

Rs. 15,600 - 39,100

(grade pay: Rs. 7600)

Joint Commissioner of Income Tax

Deputy Secretary to Government of India /Deputy Commissioner/Collector/District Magistrate

Rs. 37,400 - 67,000

(grade pay: Rs. 8700)

Additional Commissioner of Income Tax

Director to Government of India/Deputy Commissioner/Collector/District Magistrate(States) (Selection Grade)

Rs. 37,400 - 67,000

(grade pay: Rs. 8900)

Divisional Commissioner in a Division in states

Rs. 37,400-67,000

(grade pay: Rs.10,000)

Commissioner of Income Tax

Joint Secretary to Government of India/Secretary to State Govt.

HAG scale of 67,000 - 79,000

Principal Commissioner of Income Tax

Additional Secretary to Government of India/Principal Secretary to State Govt.

HAG + scale of 75,500 – 80,000

Chief Commissioner of Income Tax

Rs. 80,000 (fixed)

Principal Chief Commissioner of Income (highest)

Secretary to Government of India/Chief Secretary of State


Cabinet Secretary (highest)

Differences between IAS and IRS

Apart from basic IRS vs IAS differences which we explored in this article, there are a few prominent differences between IAS and IRS which are listed below:

  • The placements of the IAS officers occur in state or the central government departments whereas IRS officers get placed in the central government departments only.
  • Rank of the IAS officer is higher than that of the IRS office in the Civil Service hierarchy.
  • Perks and amenities of the IAS officer are higher than that of the IRS officer.
  • IRS officers are politically free, whereas political interventions influence IAS officers.

Why Choose IAS over IRS?

IAS is one of the most important and prestigious designations in India. There are various reasons why a candidate chooses the IAS officer designation over IRS, and a few of them are mentioned below:

  • An IAS heads nearly every department in the Central and State Governments.
  • At the Central and State levels, IAS officers have a larger role in creating policies.
  • An IAS officer has higher social stature and reputation than an IRS officer.
  • An IAS officer receives better amenities and benefits than an IRS officer.
  • An IAS officer's duty is much more varied and inclusive, and he has more opportunities than an IRS official to assist individuals personally.

Why Choose the IRS over IAS?

Despite the various perks of IAS officers, there are immense reasons why a candidate should opt for the IRS. Some substantial reasons to choose the IRS over the IAS are

  • The IRS offers greater tenure stability.
  • The IRS offers a better work-life balance than the IAS.
  • There is hardly any political meddling.
  • Individuals with an interest in revenue should take advantage of this service.
  • For Candidates looking for urban or metro area postings, the IRS's job openings are mostly allotted in such areas.
  • For female candidates, if both spouses are working in IRS, it is most likely that they will be posted together.
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FAQs on IRS vs IAS

  • Depending upon the rank of the IAS and IRS officers, salaries may be offered the same. But the difference occurs with the perks and added benefits provided to the IAS officers over IRS officers. For example salary structure of the Commissioner of Income Tax and Joint Secretary to Government of India/Secretary to State Govt. are the same, but perks for the latter are higher.

  • Yes, the syllabus for IRS and IAS are the same. It is the same as the exam for both services is same. The candidates selected for the services are shortlisted through the same exam. Candidates who achieve good rank are given a choice to select either of the services.

  • It is seen that candidates choose IRS over IAS because of various reasons. Such as placement of IRS officers in urban or metropolitan areas, better work-life balance, less political influence and many other benefits.

  • IRS is less powerful than the IAS because an IAS officer's social standing and prestige get outdo that of an IRS officer. An IAS is an administrative head of almost all the departments in the State and Central Governments, whereas the IRS receives the duty of revenue collection across the country. It is not only responsible for collecting revenue but also for the implementation of direct tax laws.

  • IAS and IRS are both esteemed jobs offered by the government of India. IAS is a superior service to any other central service, including IRS. If we compare both jobs, the perks, salary, and variety in work, the IAS is the better choice than IRS.

  • People prefer the IRS over the IPS because the IRS job has a better work-life balance. In IRS, Political interference is almost zero. The IRS receives the duty of revenue collection across the country, whereas the IPS is the Indian Police Service. This service provides senior officials to join the police forces.

  • Yes, IRS officers have the power to collect, administer, and formulate direct and indirect tax policies. IRS officials are commonly referred to as India's tax administrators due to this. The collection of income for growth, security, and governance is one of the most important tasks of an IRS Officer.

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