How To Become An Income Tax Officer (Complete Guide)

Updated 25 March 2023

An income tax officer (ITO) looks up to all the income tax-related problems and monitors the tax flow to ensure correct income tax filing. Working as an income tax officer can be interesting if you enjoy studying commerce and love to work with numbers. Knowing about the job role and selection process of an ITO can help to pursue your career as an income tax officer. In this article, we discuss how to become an income tax officer, the selection process, duties, key skills and salary of an income tax officer.

Who Is An Income Tax Officer?

Income tax officers are professionals who work in the income tax department. They deal with the IT matters of the central board of direct taxes (CBDT). The income tax department belongs to the ministry of finance, and an ITO is primarily responsible for the investigation and assessment of income tax.

Related: Highest Paying Government Jobs (With Salary And Duties)

How To Become An Income Tax Officer?

There is no such direct recruitment for this post. To figure out as to how to become an income tax officer, you first become an income tax inspector, and then, after a departmental promotion, you become an income tax officer. You can become an income tax inspector by clearing the staff selection commission-combined graduate level (SSC CGL) exam. See below the steps to become an income tax officer through the SSC CGL exam:

1. Get a bachelor's degree

The minimum educational qualification for CGL is a bachelor's degree. Earn a bachelor's degree to apply for the CGL exam. You can accomplish your graduation in any discipline. After completing graduation, meet all the eligibility criteria to appear in the exam.

Related: What Are the Qualifications Required to Become a CA?

2. Meet the eligibility criteria

Meet all the eligibility requirements for the CGL exam before appearing. The academic requirement for this exam is a bachelor's degree from any recognised institution. The age bar is between 18 to 30 years. There is relaxation beyond the upper age limit for the following category:

  • SC/ST: five years

  • OBC category: three years

  • Person with disabilities (PWD) (Unreserved): 10 years

  • PWD (OBC) category: 13 years

  • PWD (SC/ST) category: 15 years

  • Candidates who were ordinarily resident in the state of Jammu and Kashmir between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1989: 5 years

  • Defence personnel impaired in operation during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and discharged because of that: three years

  • Defence personnel impaired in operation during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and discharged because of that (SC/ST): eight years

Citizenship requirements for this exam are:

  • Citizens of India, or

  • A subject of Nepal, or

  • A subject of Bhutan, or

  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, intending to settle in India permanently, or

  • An individual of Indian origin who has moved to India permanently from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burma, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zaire or Vietnam

  • Candidates other than Indian nationality require the certificate of eligibility issued by the government of India.

Physical requirements for the exam are that candidates can run one mile within the specified time. The height requirement is 152 to 162 cm depending upon the region, and the chest size requirement is a minimum of 75 cm and 76 cm for candidates of the west plain region. Weight requirement is 47 to 50 Kgs depending on the region.

3. Apply for the SSC-CGL exam

After meeting all the eligibility criteria, you can apply online for the CGL exam. The application fee is ₹100. There is no application fee for the candidate belonging to SC, ST, PWD and ex-servicemen category. The process of filling the application form consists of two parts. Part I is the one-time registration, and part II is filling the application for the exam. SSC conducts the exam in three tiers. The candidate can pass all three levels to become an income tax inspector.

Related: 20 Types of B.Com. Courses To Consider (With Descriptions)

4. Write the tier I exam

The tier I exam is also called the prelims test. It is a computer-based examination and consists of objective type, multiple-choice questions only. It is a qualifying level exam, and its marks do not include in the final ranking. Tier I exam comprises four subjects: general intelligence and reasoning, general awareness, quantitative aptitude and English comprehension. You can pass this exam to appear in the tier II exam.

5. Write the tier II exam

The tier II exam is also called the mains exam. It is a computer-based examination and consists of objective type, multiple-choice questions like tier I. There are four papers in tier II in which paper I and paper II are compulsory for all posts. Paper III and IV are for candidates who apply for other posts. Paper I is of quantitative abilities of 200 marks, and paper II is of English language and comprehension of 200 marks. Marks of tier II exams is important for the final ranking.

Related: Build a Career in Finance by Applying One of These 12 Jobs

6. Write the tier III exam

The tier III is a descriptive paper in English or Hindi. It is a pen-paper mode test. This paper consists of 100 marks, and its marks keep weight-age for the final ranking. There is no negative marking in this paper and the time allowed is an hour.

7. Complete document verification and medical examination

The commission shortlists candidates to appear in the document verification based on tier II and tier III performance. After document verification, shortlisted candidates undergo a medical fitness examination. The candidate who meets the physical requirements and passes the medical examination can become an inspector in the income tax department.

Related: What Is Annual Income? And How To Calculate Your Income

8. Qualify for the departmental exam for income tax officer

After serving as an inspector for three years, you can become an income tax officer. You can clear the departmental exam for confirmation and the income tax officer departmental exam for promotion to become an ITO. The ITO departmental exam comprises 100 questions of multiple choice. The paper is of 200 marks, and the time allowed is two hours. After clearing this exam, you can get a promotion to income tax officer depending on the number of vacancies and seniority.

Related: How To Become a Tax Consultant: Skills, Education and Salary

What Are The Duties Of An Income Tax Officer?

Following are the prime responsibilities of an income tax officer:

  • Assists in the collection of revenue for public welfare and the administration of government institutions by maintaining tax accounts from various departments

  • Ensures that companies and citizens are paying taxes to the government

  • Sends notices and making frequent checks for frauds and other unlawful actions are all part of the job of an income tax officer

  • Looks into claims of failure to pay taxes

  • Analyses court information for the status of claims, mortgages, financial statements or investigates assets of persons through third parties who do not pay taxes

  • Determines the actual income of people who have filed income tax returns

  • Executes raids on people, corporations and organisations that have submitted an incorrect income tax return (ITR) or did not file an ITR

Related: What Is a Financial Accountant? (With Duties and Salary)

Necessary Skills For An Income Tax Officer

Below are the skills that can help them succeed in their career as an ITO:

  • Numeracy: An income tax officer evaluates the financial information of people, corporations, government and public officials. A career as an income tax officer entails strong arithmetic abilities.

  • Attention to detail: An income tax officer needs to pay attention to detail while research, survey, correct and evaluate income tax during the job.

  • Communication: Interaction with accountants, businesses, attorneys and coworkers is a part of the job of an income tax officer.

  • Problem-solving: Looking into claims, such as being incapable of paying taxes and other tax-related problems, requires good problem-solving skills.

  • Time management: Working as an income tax officer sometimes requires long hours during the closing of the fiscal year. They are to ensure that assessors file correct ITRs and that there is no fraud or asset concealment.

Related: Importance of Soft Skills in the Workplace

What Is The Salary Of An Income Tax Officer?

The pay scale of an income tax officer is ₹9,300-34,800 + grade pay of ₹4,800/₹5,400.

Below are the pay scales of different posts in income tax departments:

  • Income tax officer: ₹9,300-34,800 + grade pay of ₹4,800/₹5,400

  • Posts in assessing officer cadre: ₹15,600-39,100 + grade pay of ₹6,600/₹9,300-34,800 + grade pay of ₹4,800/4,200

  • Posts in private secretary cadre: ₹9,300-34,800 + grade pay of ₹4,800/4,200

  • Inspector of income tax: ₹9,300-34,800 + grade pay of ₹4,600

  • Executive assistants: ₹9,300-34,800 + grade pay of ₹4,200/

  • Tax assistant/steno III/driver: ₹5,200-20,200 + grade pay ₹2,400

  • Notice server/lower divisional clerk/ driver: ₹5,200-20,200 + grade pay of ₹1,900

  • Group C: ₹5,200-20,200 + grade pay of ₹1,800

  • Posts in electronic data processing cadre: ₹15,600-39,100/₹5,200-20,200

Related: How Much Does An Income Tax Inspector Make In A Month?

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Explore more articles

  • How To Become A Facilities Manager (With Duties And Skills)
  • What Does An HR Recruiter Do? (Plus How To Become One)
  • How To Become A Dental Technician (With Responsibilities)
  • 8 Highest-Paid Teaching Jobs Abroad (With Salaries And Tips)
  • What Is It Like To Work In Belgium? (With Tips To Find A Job)
  • Top 18 Aesthetician Careers For Beauty Professionals
  • 6 Salesforce Developer Certifications To Pursue (With Benefits)
  • 14 Wildlife Biologist Skills (With Tips To Develop Them)
  • What Does an Account Executive Do? (Work Duties and Skills)
  • What Is The Role Of A Software Development Engineer In Test?
  • 7 Technical Recruiter Certification Options To Advance Your Career
  • Guide: What Is Structural Design In Civil Engineering?