Dedicated or deranged shoppers?
9 and uh-oh

Uncle Sam wants you!

This time he wants more than just your taxes. He wants you to help him collect them.

As the year winds down, the IRS is conducting its annual search for employees to help it get through the filing season crunch. Here in Austin, the call's gone out via ads in the local daily newspaper (shown here) as well as on television, albeit mostly during late-night programs.


According to the the print appeal and the stentorian tones of the TV voice-over guy, a job as a G-man or woman is great: retirement plan, paid vacation, stability ("We're not an up-and-coming employer. We've been around for while."), free parking. Who could ask for more?

Well ... there's one word in both the print and broadcast come-ons that bothers me: Seasonal.

Seasonal tax examiners. Seasonal data transcribers. Seasonal clerks. Isn't that just a euphemism for temporary?

If I get one of these IRS jobs, will I still be examining returns come July? Will all the data be entered and dealt with by September? Will I be around long enough to vest in the Thrift Savings Plan employer match or enjoy one of those many federal holidays off?

Treasury_ci_badge_2 Special Agent Man (or Woman): A more secure position might be as an IRS Criminal Investigator. Tax crimes know no season.

The agency is now hiring for a couple of these slots (hat tip to TaxProf).

And who wouldn't want this job:

If you are searching for an exciting career in law enforcement and have strong accounting and communications skills, you should consider becoming an IRS special agent. Tax evasion and money laundering cases are complex and challenging, requiring investigators possessing specialized skills, integrity, dedication and professionalism. IRS Criminal Investigation has one of the most distinguished histories in Federal law enforcement, and its special agents are universally recognized as premier financial investigators. If you are looking for a challenging profession with a future, then a career as an IRS special agent might be right for you!

Just think. One day, you could be handcuffing the next Al Capone or Jack Abramoff.

You can get more info on how to "follow the money" as an IRS CI here and here, and read here the personal account of what one agent's job entails.

If you're interested in pinning on a tax badge, act fast. The application window closes on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

If, however, you want something a little less exciting but a bit more than seasonal, check out this Web page, "IRS -- Why work for us?" If that pitch sells you on the agency's workplace virtues, then you'll find links where you can search for jobs and apply when you find one you like.


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Lubna Kably

Hi there. Something similar is happening here in India. Ads for tax preparors. Now this new breed, are expected to help you and me file our tax returns. They will be given a fixed fee by the tax authorities and a certain percentage of the tax they help to file. I just wonder, will this prompt them to make errors and file higher taxes? Guess not, hope controls will be in place. OUr tax season is still on, due date Nov 30.


I'd LOVE to be an examiner or an auditor. Such fun!

My dad did the seasonal thing one year when he was in grad school and we were hella poor. He actually made fairly good money but it was third shift. He said they opened up envelopes and had to make sure 4 boxes on the 1040 EZ had something written in them. That was it. And they made $8-10 per hour doing it. This was in 1987, I think.

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