How to Become a Revenue Officer

How to Become a Revenue Officer: Career Path Guide

A career as a revenue officer could be a great fit for you if you have an interest in accounting, tax compliance, and working with the public, and you can keep tactful and assertive in stressful situations.


This field can offer a chance to work independently but as part of a team, a consistent work schedule, good pay, and plenty of room for career advancement.


So, if you'd like to know more about the ins and outs of this field then read on; we’ll fill you in on what you would be doing for a living, how much you could earn, and what you’ll need to break into this profession!



Basic Requirements

Many employers will require that you are able to pass a background test in order to make sure that you can be trusted with handling government funds.


Your employer may want to ensure you don’t have a criminal record for crimes related to fraud, poor credit, or a conflict of interest in working as a revenue officer. Having any of the above may disqualify you from becoming a revenue officer.



Education Needed to Become a Revenue Officer

Most employers require that you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, or in a related field such as finance, math, economics or business administration. 




Experience Needed

Some employers may accept work experience in place of formal education. In such cases, employers may hire you if you have work experience in accounting, bookkeeping, auditing or tax analysis/compliance, or in areas such as collections, customer service, or credit checking.



Revenue Officer: General Job Description

A revenue officer, you would work for a government or 3rd party collection agency that collects taxes and other revenue on behalf of the government. Your main working objectives would be to enforce the tax code and to collect on delinquent accounts.


You would be responsible for inspecting accounts and tax returns, looking for signs of noncompliance, as well as issues such as late payments or delinquent accounts.


Your work may be desk-based, trying to settle accounts via phone or email, or it may be field-based, which would involve meeting directly with taxpayers in addition to conducting third party interviews.



General Job Duties

Your duties as a revenue officer could vary, depending on the scope of your job, and your level of responsibility. In general however, you could expect to perform some (or all) of the following duties:


• Investigate and collect delinquent taxpayer accounts

• Send notices to taxpayers regarding collection of delinquent funds

• Work with taxpayers to develop a payment plan

• Conduct independent field audits and investigations of income tax returns to verify or amend tax liabilities

• Examine specific tax returns to determine the nature and extent of audits to be performed

• May serve as member of regional appeals board to re-examine unresolved issues in terms of relevant laws and regulations

• Examine accounting systems and internal controls of organizations

• Provide advice on reporting and evaluation methods for goods subject to taxation

• Prepare briefs and assist in searching and seizing records, and in preparing charges for court cases



Skills Needed to Work as a Revenue Officer

In order to do the job of a revenue officer effectively, you’ll need to have a mixed bag of accounting, collection and interpersonal skills, including:


• Skilled at interviewing so you can get to the bottom of a taxpayer's issues

• Able to maintain tact and assertiveness in the face of aggression and hostility

• The ability to understand complex rules and explain them clearly to customers

• Able to keep multiple accounts properly organized

• Competent with various tax preparation and bookkeeping software used by individuals and businesses

• Working knowledge of relevant tax law

• Able to identify questionable claims for tax credits and deductions



Is This Career Right for You?

In order to survive the ups and downs of working as a revenue officer (and enjoy yourself along the way!), you’ll need to have certain qualities, including:


• A need for work that involves investigating details

• An interest in working with numbers and people

• An assertive but tactful manner with hostile customers

• You’re interested in a 9-5 career with good pay

• You can complete projects independently based on general direction

• You enjoy advising others is in areas in which you are knowledgeable



Who Employs Revenue Officers?

Municipal, provincial/state or federal government revenue agencies employ most revenue officers. Some governments choose to contract revenue collection and related administration services to 3rd party companies, with whom you may also be able to find work.



Revenue Officer Average Salary Level

The salary level you could earn as a revenue officer can vary, depending on the following factors:


• Your level of experience

• Your level of education

• The region in which you work

• The scope of your job duties


Revenue Officer Salary - Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadians working in the Immigration, Employment Insurance and Revenue Officers occupational group is $54,200 per year.


Revenue Officer Salary - United Kingdom: According to the National Careers Service, expected salary levels for Local government revenues officers can be between £16,000 and £19,000 per year (entry-level) and could rise to above £21,000 with experience. Team leaders and fraud investigators can earn between £24,000 and £36,000 per year.


Revenue Officer Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents occupational group is $51,120 per year.



Work Environment for Revenue Officers

Working Hours: Most jobs for revenue officers are full-time, which would involve working roughly 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally be asked to work at the weekend or in the evening. Part-time might also be available.


Working Setting: Your work would take place in an office, which may be partly open to the public. You may spend some of your time at a customer service counter, helping customers sort out their accounts. You could however, work in a private office, or area of cubicles, and spend a good part of your day communicating with customers, colleagues and managers via phone and email. Alternatively, you may be responsible for working in the field, visiting the work or home of customers, in order to conduct audits.


Working Conditions: Your work may be stressful at times, as not many people want to speak with a tax collection agent. In fact, some can become verbally abusive and hostile.



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Career Advancement as a Revenue Officer

Displaying competence and a good work ethic in this role can afford you plenty of career advancement options, including:


• Earning a higher wage or salary

• Working on bigger projects and taking on more responsibility

• Moving into supervisory and management roles

• Moving into specialized areas, such as fraud investigation

• Moving into accounting practice (possibly with additional education) 



Careers Similar to ‘Revenue Officer’

Listed below are occupations in our database that have similar responsibilities, and/or require similar skills, or be in the same sector of industry, as Revenue Officer:


• Auditor

• Bookkeeper

• Border Services Officer

• Citizenship and Immigration Officer

• Loan Officer

• Tax Accountant




Please consult the following resources to learn more about what revenue officer do for a living, and how you can become one:



Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Employment insurance, immigration, border services and revenue officers.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 12, 2020.

Business & Financial:Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents.” (December 3, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 12, 2020.

Explore Careers:Local government revenues officer.” (n.d.). National Careers Service website. Retrieved January 12, 2020.

National Occupation Classification:Employment insurance, immigration, border services and revenue officers.” (n.d.) Statistics Canada website. Retrieved January 12, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Revenue Officer

The “Applicable Majors” section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a revenue officer. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on the following pages:


Accounting Scholarships

Criminal Justice Scholarships

Criminology Scholarships

Economics Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Revenue Officer: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the college/university majors listed below can be helpful (or are necessary) for becoming a revenue officer. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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