What is a Revenue Agent

A revenue agent is an accountant employed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or local or state governments to examine and audit tax returns and records. A revenue agent's job is to make sure that tax liabilities of individuals, small businesses and corporations and other tax-paying entities have been met. Typically, revenue agents hold a bachelor's degree or, in some cases, an associate's degree in accounting.


Revenue agents may perform a variety of tasks including reviewing filed tax returns for accuracy and conducting in-person audits outside of the office. For a basic audit, revenue agents may contact a taxpayer by mail or phone to discuss a return or request supporting documents.

Revenue Agents Beyond the Basics

Revenue agents may have specialized backgrounds and training and may be employed in different tax enforcement of divisions. These specialists can have a variety of titles, such as financial products and transactions examiners (FPTE); international examiners (IE); employment tax specialists (ETS); and computer audit specialists (CAS).

Some revenue agents work exclusively on the records of suspected criminals, including drug dealers and money launderers. Those agents who specialize in this field may be required to provide testimony in a court of law. Senior revenue agents generally examine the most complicated tax returns involving individuals or businesses.