How to Become Income Tax Officer?

How to Become Income Tax Officer

You must be aware of people getting scared by Income Tax Officers who are also known as the ‘Police of Taxation’ and considered as the watchdog of the growing defaulters of income tax. We tend to forget the fact that paying taxes is considered a civic duty towards the growth and development of the country. Further, as a career field, there are immense prospects available in Taxation. One such specialised field of Taxation lies in the Income Tax Department which facilitates tax collections and ensures that individuals and organisations are following the laws of taxation. Are you curious about the process of how to become Income Tax Officer and what is the scope of a career in the field of Revenue and Taxation? Then, you are in the right place because we have accumulated all the necessary information to help you build a thriving career as an Income Tax Officer.

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Who is an Income Tax Officer (ITO)?

Responsibilities of an Income Tax Officer

An Income Tax Officer (ITO) is an authoritative official or inspector of the Income Tax Department who deals with tax-related matters of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDI). Also called as ‘Tax Specialists’, Income Tax Officers analyse and examine business and personal tax accounts and ensure that the correct amount of tax is being paid. To know the procedure of how to become Income Tax Officer, it is important to understand that these officers possess excellent analytical skills and a high level of numeracy which is essential to investigate suspected tax fraud.

Before moving onto the guidelines on how to become an Income Tax Officer, it is essential to know the importance of these officers and their responsibilities in society.

Why Do We Need ITOs?

An Income Tax Department is responsible for the day-to-day administration of various taxes. An Income Tax Officer (ITO) is involved in determining tax liabilities, individual and company audits, assisting the public with their tax situations and investigating work aimed at combating tax evasion. These tax officers are highly essential to assess, collect and manage tax duties that account for over 93% of exchequer revenue. Additional tax responsibilities could include payroll, sales and property tax filings.

Let us help you understand the eligibility requirements, selection procedure, examination pattern, etc. to become an Income Tax Inspector.

Essential Steps to Become an Income Tax Officer

Are you wondering how to become Income Tax Inspector? If you are a graduate below the age of 30 years, the first step is to apply for the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). In other words, SSC is an authorised body responsible for conducting SSC CGL exam for recruitment of the Income Tax Inspector because the Department of Income Tax falls under the Central Government of India. The minimum education requirement to be recruited as Grade C and B inspectors is to be a graduate in any discipline.

How to Become an Income Tax Inspector?

Income Tax Inspector work under the Department of Income Tax operating under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), a statutory authority that takes care of matters related to levy and collection of direct taxes. The key responsibilities of an Income Tax Inspector include the assessment of tax returns as well as reporting any discrepancies in the returns filed either by individuals or firms and organisations. Under the profile of an Income Tax Inspector, you will be generally posted under assessment section or non-assessment section. If you are in the assessment section, you will be handling on-desk responsibilities such as tackling auditing and tax refund or TDS related issues while in the non-assessment aspect, income tax inspectors carry out intel or evidence gathering on possible defaulters by conducting rails with the income tax field teams in the department.

Eligibility Requirements for SSC CGL Exam

  • The minimum age limit of the candidate is 18 years and the maximum is 27 years.
  • The upper age limit will be relaxed for 5 years for SC/ST candidates and 3 years for OBC applicants. Other than this, relaxation in upper age limit is also applicable for employees working in the Government of India and defence services.
  • The candidate should hold a Bachelor’s degree in any stream.
  • The candidate is required to fulfil the minimum required physical fitness and stature eligibility:
    • Male Candidate: Height (157.5 cm) and Chest (81 cm, fully expanded with a minimum expansion of 5 cms). The Physical Test will include walking (1600 m in 15min) and cycling (8 km in 30 min)
    • Female Candidate: Minimum height (152 cm) and Weight (48 kg). The Physical Test includes walking (1 km in 20 min) and cycling (3km in 25min)

Selection Procedure for Income Tax Inspector Recruitment Through SSC CGL

In order to become an Income Tax Officer, you must first begin with the post of Income Tax Inspector for which the recruitment procedure is carried out through SSC CGL exam. The exam is then followed by an interview and Physical Standard/Physical Fitness and Medical Tests. SSC CGL generally encompasses a four-stage recruitment process in which Tier 3 and 4 are not applicable for selection of Income Tax posts:

Tier 1 & 2: Preliminary & Mains; Both online exams comprising of multiple-choice objective type questions

After these two exams, a personality/skill test or interview is conducted at the regional or sub-regional office of SSC.

Below mentioned are the 3 stages of SSC CGL examination in further detail:

1. Preliminary Examination

This examination contains two papers. Moreover, it should be noted that the Preliminary Exam is just a qualifying section for the Final Exam and scores obtained in this exam are not added to the final marks.

SectionSubjectNumber of
Maximum Marks Time 
Part AGeneral Intelligence
and General
1001002 Hours
Part BArithmetic1001002 Hours

Must Read: SSC CGL Syllabus

2. Main Examination

As a critical part of the procedure of how to become Income Tax Officer, the main exam can be taken by those candidates who have passed the Preliminary Examination. It contains two sections where Part A involves a ‘Written Exam’ and Part B is a ‘Personality Test’.

Written Exam Subject Maximum Marks Time 
General Studies (Reasoning and Awareness)2003 Hours
English Comprehension1002 Hours 20 minutes
Arithmetic Abilities2004 Hours
Language1002 Hours 20 minutes
Communication Skills and Writing2002 Hours 20 minutes

Check Out: SSC CGL Books

3. Personality Test or Interview

If you have passed the main exam, the final stage of SSC CGL examination is a personal interview where test your personality and mental abilities are put to test. In addition to this, there may be a Skill Test to test the data speed of 2000 words per 15 minutes and will be conducted at the regional/sub-regional office of SSC.

If you are jotting down the essentials of how to become Income Tax Officer, clearing the cutoff for each examination is another crucial step to keep in mind. These cutoffs are generally set high for the Income Tax Department as it comprises of the most preferred and lucrative job profiles. However, the cutoffs depend on the number of candidates and number of vacancies available.

Training Process For Group “B” Post

Once you are selected, a 12-week training is conducted at the Direct Taxes Regional Training Institute (DTRTI) in the region which you have been allotted. The intensive training includes exposure to different administrative procedures, tax laws and investigation skills. Other than this, you will be briefed about your salary, perks and other benefits provided to an SSC CGL Income Tax Inspector. 

Taking the UPSC Path

Another element in the process of exploring how to become Income Tax Officer is to take the direct route of the UPSC exam. Then, you can go for the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC and opt for Indian Revenue Services for which the age eligibility is 32 years and and you can give the exam 6 times. Once you’ve cleared all the stages of the examination, you will be appointed as an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax which is a Group A Post. After successfully completing a stipulated period of service, you are assured of time-bound promotion given that your annual performance report is always good with no adverse remark against you.

Perks of an Income Tax Officer

The question of how to become Income Tax Officer is best answered when you know the benefits that can be availed in this profession. Individuals who join the Income Tax Department at an early age have a fair chance of being promoted quickly through the following levels:

  1. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax
  2. Joint Commissioner of Income Tax
  3. Commissioner of Income Tax
  4. Principal Commissioner of Income Tax
  5. Chief Commissioner of Income Tax
  6. Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax

There is a possibility of being appointed as the Chairman of various appellate authorities and tribunals if you retire at a higher position in the Income Tax Department. One of the most exciting advantages of being a government officer is the government accommodation provided on the basis of your seniority in the department. Also, the government ensures paid leaves for officers to complete professional examinations that are essential for growth and promotion.

Related Read: How to Become a Safety Officer?

With the government taking various measures to tackle illegal wealth, the requirement of Income Tax Officers is increasing tremendously. We hope this blog helped you explore the answers to how to become Income Tax Officer. You can always reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who can help you choose a graduate program that is best suited to support your ambition of becoming an Income Tax Officer.

    1. Hi Rishab, the salary of an Income Tax officer varies as per their work profile, a grade B officer receives around Rs 27000-30,000 per month at the time of joining. Whereas and IRS officer earns close to Rs 40,000 to 50,000 per month.

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