How to Become IRS Officer?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

How to Become IRS Officer? It is one of the most searched queries for those who aspire to become an Indian Revenue Service Officer. There is no doubt about the fact that the IRS officer is the fourth most respected Civil Service officer after the IAS, IPS, and IFS. They are comprised of IRS (IT) and IRS (C&CE). They are responsible for the collection, administration, and policy formation of direct and indirect taxes. To become an IRS Officer, one has to be aware of the application dates and the eligibility criteria and keep themselves prepared for the Prelims, Mains, and personality test.

Indian Revenue Officer can be under the CBDT or CBEC in the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance. To reach this level and become an IRS officer, one has to work really hard and pass through tough exams involving written tests and interviews. In this post, we will be discussing how to become IRS Officer step-by-step including the eligibility criteria and application process for the same.

How to Become IRS Officer?

To become an IRS officer, a candidate needs to clear all stages of the UPSC Civil Services Exam. The UPSC CSE consists of three stages – UPSC Prelims, Mains, and the Personality Test. Candidates must secure good marks in order to clear all these exams. First, they have to appear for Prelims, and those who clear the Prelims would be eligible for UPSC Mains. Candidates who secure good marks in Mains will go through the interview process. Those who manage to score good marks and secure high ranks would be appointed as IRS officers. Below we have mentioned a step-by-step approach to becoming an IRS officer.

Step-1 (Application form):

If you meet the IRS eligibility criteria, then the first step you need to take is to fill up the application form of IRS.

Step-2 (UPSC Prelims):

  • The first exam you need to appear in is the UPSC Prelims. It is the screening test for the aspirants, and it is to find eligible candidates for the UPSC Mains exam.
  • The Prelims round comprises two papers, and each carries 200 marks, and candidates will get a time duration of 2 hours for each paper.
  • Those who clear the Prelims round will be able to appear for the next round, i.e. UPSC Mains.

Step-3 (UPSC Mains):

  • Only the candidates who clear Prelims can sit for the UPSC Mains examination.
  • This exam is important because the marks secured in both Mains and Interview rounds will be taken into account for preparing the final result.
  • That is why candidates must analyze the UPSC Mains Syllabus properly and implement their robust study plan accordingly.

Step-4 (Interview/Personality Test):

  • Candidates are eligible for the last stage of the IRS exam, i.e. Personality Test. Here, the aspirants have to go through an interview.
  • After the completion of the UPSC interview round, the final result will be published. Those who clear all three stages of the exam will be able to become IRS officer.

What is IRS?

IRS full form is the Indian Revenue Service, and the Indian Government recruits them through the UPSC Civil Services Examination. The IRS officers work for the headquarters of the Ministry of Health Affairs and the PMs’ office. They are in charge of income tax offices all over the country. Additionally, IRS is concerned with collecting and managing various taxes and accruing the same to the Union government.

Eligibility Criteria to Become IRS Officer

Before discussing “How to Become IRS officer”, candidates must go through the UPSC Eligibility criteria to apply for the IRS. To be eligible for the Indian Revenue Service, candidates must meet the educational qualification, age limit, and other eligibility conditions. Below we have mentioned the eligibility criteria required to become an IRS officer.

Educational Qualification:

  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from a government recognized university or an equivalent qualification.
  • However, those who are in their final year and waiting for the result are also eligible to apply for IRS.

Age Limit:

  • The candidates must be at least 21 years on the 1st of August of that particular year of examination and must not be older than 32 years, which is also calculated as of the 1st of August.
  • However, age relaxation is applied to candidates from other OBC and SC/ST backgrounds. For the OBC candidates, the upper age limit is 35 years, and for SC/ST candidates, the upper age limit is 37 years.


To become an IRS officer, the candidates need to meet the following nationality requirements:

  • An Indian citizen
  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A subject to Bhutan, or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, to permanently reside in India.
  • Individuals of Indian origin who have migrated from the United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire, Malawi, Zambia, Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

IRS Officer Training

The selected IRS officer will have to go through 3 months of foundational training with officers from All India Services and other services (Group A) at the Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration (LBSNNA), followed by 15 months of professional training in NACEN Faridabad for the officers of Customs and Excise of NADT Nagpur for officers of Income Tax, where they will be trained in concerts and advances in management, law, taxation, and public policy. After the competition of the training period, the IRS officer will be appointed in various regions.

Preparation Strategy to Become an IRS Officer

To become an IRS officer, candidates need to have the sheer determination and desire to work hard. Additionally, they must analyze the Prelims and Mains Syllabus and develop a rock-solid strategy. With an effective strategy and the right implementation of that strategy, you can become an IRS officer. Below we have mentioned preparation strategies that would help the candidates to clear the IRS exam and help in achieving their dream of becoming an IRS officer.

  • Candidates need to be clear with the topics covered in the syllabus. After that, they must target to learn all the basics and strengthen their foundation. Candidates must go through the UPSC Syllabus properly and understand the UPSC Exam Pattern.
  • UPSC Books are important for efficient preparation. Candidates must revise the books at least 3 to 4 times before the exam.
  • To figure out the types of questions, the difficulty level of the exam, and the paper pattern, candidates need to take practice the UPSC Previous Year Question Paper.
  • Additionally, Current Affairs must be given high priority as it is an integral part of the UPSC Exam. one should stay updated with recent events and news.
  • To check their preparation level, aspirants must attempt mock tests, which would also help them to find out their weaknesses.
  • At last, having a thorough revision is the key. Revise the study materials multiple times before the final exam to have a fruitful outcome.

Roles and Responsibilities of IRS Officer

The roles and responsibilities of an IRS officer are mainly attached to Income Tax and also to other departments and agencies.

  • IRS officers advise on tax policy matters and play a big role in farming or amending statutes and framing regulations related to taxes.
  • They also participate and negotiate on behalf of the Indian Government in fiscal matters in both multilateral and bilateral forums such as Global Form on Transparency in Tax Matters and OECD.
  • The recently created Directorate of Criminal Investigation under the Central Board of Direct Taxes coordinates and collects the intelligence-gathering actions of the department. In addition, it also prosecutes tax offenders.
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