Indian Revenue Service
The Indian Revenue Service (Hindi: भारतीय राजस्व सेवा, Bhāratīya Rājaswa Sevā), abbreviated as IRS, is the administrative revenue service of the Central Civil Services of the Government of India. The Service functions under the Department of Revenue in the Union Ministry of Finance and is concerned with the collection and administration of the various direct and indirect taxes accruing to the Union Government.
|Training Grounds||1. National Academy of Direct Taxes (Nagpur)
2. National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (Faridabad)
|Controlling Authority||Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance|
Federal law enforcement
|Cadre Size||5541 (Income Tax)
4592 (Customs and Central Excise)
|Association||Indian Revenue Service (IT) Association
IRS (C&CE) Officers Association
|CBDT Chairman||Mr. Sushil Chandra, IRS-IT|
|Chairman, CBEC||Ms. Vanaja N. Sarna ,IRS-C&CE|
|Head of the Civil Services|
|Cabinet Secretary||Current: P. K. Sinha, IAS|
IRS comprises two branches - IRS (Income Tax) and IRS (Customs and Central Excise), which are controlled by two separate statutory bodies, viz., Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) respectively. IRS serves the nation through discharging one of the most important sovereign functions i.e., collection of revenue for development, security and governance.
There are two streams of recruitment to the Indian Revenue Service - Direct Recruits and Promoted Officers. Direct Recruits are selected from the Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission and based on preferences opted by them. Promoted Officers like Income Tax Service, Group ‘B’ are promoted gradually over several years of service. The current ratio of two streams at entry level is kept at 1:1.[need quotation to verify] Initial posting would be Assistant Commissioners up to senior rank of Principal Chief Commissioners, Member/Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes or Central Board of Excise and Customs.
IRS officers then procced to the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur or the National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics, Faridabad and they undergo a very dynamic training in specialized matters of conventional tax administration (Direct Taxes) along with unarmed combat, weapons and explosives. Additionally IRS officers undergo extensive training with Army and the National Police Academy and many other prestigious institutes of the country so that they are better prepared to excel in their multi-faceted role.[need quotation to verify] NADT has signed an MOU with National Law School of India University in Bengaluru to award Post Graduate Diploma in Business Laws to the Officer Trainees. Recently, Finance Ministry has approved exchange of officer trainees to various countries across the world such as Australia, Malaysia, United States of America, Brazil, South Africa and OECD Nations for increasing exposure to the future administrators.[need quotation to verify]
There are various mid-career training programmes for IRS officers with a view to keep them abreast of the latest developments _in the areas of governance, particularly taxation, finance and management. These include the Advanced Mid Career Training (AMCTP) which is conducted' in 3 phases. Phase I is for Joint/Additional Commissioners, Phase-II is for Commissioners/Principal Commissioners and Phase-III is for Chief Commissioners/Principal Chief Commissioners. The AMCTP generally consists of a 3-week domestic module held at premier Management Institutes in the country followed by "a 2 week International component at internationally acclaimed Universities, depending on their areas of expertise.[need quotation to verify]
The designations and time-scales within the Indian Revenue Service are as follows after cadre restructure:
|Position / Pay Grade in the Government of India||Level and Rank|
|1||Junior Time Scale||Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax / Entry-level (Probationer)|
|2||Senior Time Scale||Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax|
|3||Junior Administrative Grade||Joint Commissioner of Income Tax|
|4||Selection Grade||Additional Commissioner of Income Tax|
|5||Senior Administrative Grade||Commissioner of Income Tax/Additional Director General|
|6||Higher Administrative Grade||Principal Commissioner of Income Tax|
|7||Higher Administrative Grade +||Chief Commissioner/Director General|
|8||Apex Scale||Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax CBDT Chairman/Member CBDT/DG Central Economic Intelligence Bureau|
Indian Revenue Services officers are mainly attached to the Income Tax and Customs Departments but are also deputed to many other agencies and departments in the central and state governments. IRS officers administer the Direct Taxes laws through the Income Tax Department (ITD) whose logo is 'kosh mulo dandah'. In the Income Tax and Customs Dept, IRS officers are charged with responsibility to identify the tax evasion modus operandi and are given statutory powers of search and seizure and arrest to combat the prevalent evasion. They also play a role in advising on tax policy matters by playing a significant role in framing or amending of statutes and frames regulations in relation to taxes. They also participate and negotiate treaties on behalf of the Government of India in the fiscal matters in both bilateral or multilateral forums such as OECD and Global Form on Transparency in Tax Matters.[need quotation to verify]
Newly created Directorate of Criminal Investigation under the Central Board of Direct Taxes collects and coordinates the intelligence gathering actions of the department and prosecutes tax offenders.[need quotation to verify]
In 2015, it was reported that as many as 108 IRS officers were under probe by the CBI for their alleged involvement in corruption. From May 2009 to May 2010, the CBI had sought sanction for prosecution of 102 IRS officials posted in different parts of the country in connection with corruption cases.
The IRS officials top the Central Bureau of Investigation’s list of most corrupt bureaucrats. In one case, a 1992 batch IRS officer was arrested for accepting a bribe of ₹2 crore in Mumbai. Recently, in another case, some IRS officials were found to help certain companies evade payment of Service tax and related penalties of the order of ₹1 crore. Also CBI raided premises of an Income Tax Officer for demanding Bribe to the tune of ₹60 crore for covering up Stock Guru Scam.
As of 2013, the IRS has a significant shortfall in employees. Since liberalization era in 1990's emphasis on governmental cost cutting has been the norm department has been facing shortages in officer and staff cadre. Approximately more than half of the junior officers and staff positions are lying vacant as on date. It was hoped that computerization would reduce the dependence on staff during 2001 restructuring of the department following desk officer system. Subsequently,unscientific promotion policies owing to pressure tactics  of the unions have resulted in creation of situation where staff with out any proper experience or qualification are promoted to supervisory ranks seriously jeopardizing the efficiency and service delivery and leaving huge vacancies at the investigation and assessment charges. There have been many instances where drivers have been promoted to the rank of Inspector of Income Tax which is a bedrock of the investigation mechanism for detecting tax evasion with out proper screening. While this indicates a democratic scenario where every competent worker can aspire to rise up in the hierarchy but no safeguards have been put in place to ensure merit of the promoted candidates. According to the Economic Times, Severe shortages may be negatively impacting the government's ability to scrutinise returns and catch instances of black money.
Murder of many officersEdit
Even though IRS officers have to deal with sensitive posting in their career they are not provided adequate security. Many IRS officers in the Customs and Income Tax Departments have been assassinated in the course of their investigations.
Many new initiatives were taken by the Indian Revenue Service members to curb corruption in their respective departments and make the system more efficient and responsive to the needs of the tax payers. Use of Technology widely reduced scope for the abuse of power. Refund Banker scheme introduced in 2007 eliminated the scope for corruption in the Refunds of Excessive Tax collected by the Department. Introduction of E-filing of Taxes and effective implementation of Permanent Account Number (PAN) are some revolutionary steps that reduced the scope for corruption at all levels while improving the efficiency of the whole system. Use of Centralised Processing Center setup in 2010 at Bangalore of the Income Tax Department reduced unnecessary delays in processing returns. These computerization initiatives have freed up the human resources in the department which are largely responsible for higher revenue collections.
Income Tax Ombudsmen has been created in 2006 and is functional at 12 cities to look into tax related grievances of the public. Department is also gearing to improve its tax payer's services with Sevottam Scheme. Under this scheme various initiatives such as Citizen Charter, Ayakar Seva Kendra (ASK) which is a single Window mechanism for implementing Sevottam through delivery of these services within the time lines promised in the Citizen’s Charter were launched. Ayakar Sampark Kendra consists of one National Call Centre and 4 regional Call Centres to aid the tax payer were inaugurated by the Hon'ble Finance Minister.
An IRS officer could rise up-to the Apex Scale (Rs.2,40,000 fixed plus allowances) at the post of Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in the ITD. At the apex level, he can also get selected as a Member or Chairperson of the CBDT. The intermediate grades in this career progression are Deputy Commissioner, Joint Commissioner, Additional Commissioner, Commissioner, Principal Commissioner and Chief Commissioner of Income Tax. An IRS officer is also eligible to be selected as Member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Authority for Advance Ruling, Income Tax Settlement Commission and Income Tax Ombudsman as per the prescribed eligibility criteria. Income Tax Overseas Units have been set up designating IRS officers as diplomats in the rank of First Secretary in various missions and consulates of India abroad to look into tax evasion and compliance matters which enables them to work in the place of Indian Foreign Service officers abroad. Cadre Review has been cleared in the Income Tax creating 20,751 additional posts to help generate additional revenue of ₹25,000 crore annually.
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- Report of the Tax Administration Reforms Commission
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- "For good governance, Finance Ministry fires 72 tax officers, retires 33 more". Business Standard. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
- "Government takes strict action against defaulting/non performing tax officials/officers". Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
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- "CBI raids excise officials and steel majors". Times of India. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Stock Guru scam: IT officer raided for ‘Rs 60-cr bribe’. Indian Express (2013-01-15). Retrieved on 2013-07-19.
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- Customs wants to sell confiscated weapons to its own officers. Indian Express (2012-09-11). Retrieved on 2013-07-19.