What does a Revenue Agent do?

Allison Boelcke

A revenue agent is an accountant responsible for monitoring the accuracy of business tax returns. He or she can work for his or her country’s government at a federal, regional, or local level. The job duties of a revenue agent vary depending on the government agency he or she works for, as well as the amount of experience and specialization.

A revenue agent is an accountant responsible for monitoring the accuracy of business tax returns.
A revenue agent is an accountant responsible for monitoring the accuracy of business tax returns.

Individuals and businesses of any size must file income tax returns with both the federal and local governments showing their earnings and expenses each year. A tax examiner will usually have the task of reviewing individual income tax returns, while a revenue agent is in charge of reviewing and auditing business tax returns. An agent who works for the federal government is typically employed by his or her country’s official revenue agency, such as the United States Internal Revenue Service, Canada Revenue Agency, or the French Revenue Agency, and must check federal business tax returns for accuracy.

A federal revenue agent has to keep up with constantly changing tax laws to ensure business tax returns are properly filled out and processed. He or she is responsible for discovering any fraudulent reporting or withholding of income on tax returns. Computer databases track research and trends of tax offenders in order for a federal agent to be on the look out for suspicious business returns. Once a federal tax return is audited and deemed accurate, it is used by agents in the regional and local city government levels.

The tax returns of small businesses are usually audited by entry level federal agents. As his or her career progresses, an agent will usually advance to working with the tax returns of large corporations. Some agents specialize in auditing tax returns of a particular industry, such as retail, construction, or real estate.

A revenue agent who works at a state or regional government level is responsible for auditing the tax returns of businesses and corporations based in his or her state or region. An agent uses the information compiled by a federal government revenue agent, as well as his or her specific state or region’s income and sales tax laws and requirements, to determine the accuracy of tax returns filed by businesses in the area. A local agent may also be responsible for auditing individual income tax returns.

A local government revenue agent may have different duties than agents at the federal and regional or state levels. He or she uses the information gathered by federal and regional tax returns and determines if local businesses are abiding by specific city tax laws such as utility or school taxes. A local agent may also audit the financial records of local businesses to ensure all income is being properly recorded.

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