What is meant by Indian Revenue Service under the UPSC?

Indian Revenue Service (IRS) is the largest Group A Central Service amongst the organized civil services in the Government of India. IRS serves the nation through discharging one of the most important sovereign functions i.e., collection of revenue for development, security and governance.

An IRS officer starts in Group A as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax. Recruitment at this level is through the Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission. Income Tax Officers (Group B gazetted) also enter into IRS by way of promotion. The Indian Revenue Service Recruitment Rules regulate the selection and career prospects of an IRS officer. IRS officers administer the Direct Taxes laws through the Income Tax Department (ITD) whose logo is 'kosh mulo dandah'. The ITD is one of the largest departments of the Government of India and is located in almost every district of India.

At the apex level, the Central Board of -Direct Taxes (CBDT) constituted under the Central Boards of Revenue Act, 1963 is responsible for administration and supervision of the ITD in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue. The CBDT consists of a Chairperson and Members who are of the rank and status of Special Secretary to the Government 'of India. The Chairperson and Members are supported by Joint Secretaries/Commissioners, Directors, Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretaries, Section Officers, Assistants and other support staff; structured on the standard lines of other departments of the Central Government. The CBDT is responsible for formulating policies relating to Direct Taxes and ensuring their due implementation. As proper administration of the ITD requires due exposure to and expertise in the tax laws, business and financial practices, accounting etc apart from other aspects of economy and administration, most of the positions in the CBDT from Under Secretary level upwards are manned by IRS officers.

Below the CBDT are regional level field offices, each headed by a Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (PCCIT) who is placed in the apex scale. There are 18 regions headed by PCCsIT below which there are Chief Commissioners and Principal Commissioners who are responsible to ensure proper functioning of the field formation.