Each year on April 15, post offices around the US fill up with people who have waited until the last possible hours to mail their tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service. Many people file their tax returns in the months preceding the annual deadline, and many file extensions that allow them extra time.
Businesses and high income earners submit tax payments on a quarterly basis, so the IRS needs stable crew to handle the steady flow year-round. But a significant portion of the agency’s business revolves around the April 15 deadline.
To handle the flurry of business in the spring and summer, the IRS hires seasonal employees. These temporary staff process mail, enter data from paper forms, review returns for accuracy and answer questions from filers.
These jobs are great for students who need flexible schedules and for retirees who want to keep their work skills sharp but do not want to commit to a full-time, year-round job. Retired tax professionals are frequently hired for seasonal work.
What Types of Jobs Are Available?
The IRS posts specific types of jobs to meet seasonal demands. These are the jobs that are typically available each year in locations around the country:
Job Title: Clerk
Duties: Processing incoming mail, maintaining files and records and filing documents including tax returns
Job Title: Mail and File Clerk
Duties: Maintaining records and other documents, processing outgoing mail, and monitoring outgoing shipments to ensure delivery
Job Title: Financial Clerk
Duties: Performing variety of finance-related clerical duties, such as extracting information from tax returns, reconciling records, tracking data and filing information
Job Title: Cash Processing Clerk
Duties: Handling money; maintaining records; screening documents, forms and letters; and other administrative tasks
Job Title: Contact Representative
Duties: Providing administrative and technical assistance to individuals and businesses primarily over the phone and in person
Job Title: Data Transcriber
Duties: Entering information from tax returns into the IRS computer system
Job Title: Tax Examiner
Duties: Reviewing tax returns for accuracy and completeness, reviewing and coding tax returns for computer processing, resolving errors and corresponding with taxpayers to obtain any missing information
Job Title: Correspondence Examination Technician
Duties: Examining tax returns and communicating with taxpayers through phone or correspondence; or providing support to tax compliance officers and revenue agents during their examinations
Job Title: Mail Processing Equipment Operator
Duties: Supervise mail processing staff, planning and prioritizing the work of subordinates, evaluating their job performance, offering advice and instruction and considering ways to make improvements
What Experience is Required?
While a high school diploma is required for seasonal IRS jobs is required, experience is not. The IRS provides all the necessary training to new hires. Many seasonal employees come back year after year.
What is the Application Process?
The IRS typically posts seasonal jobs in the fall for the next tax season. This gives the IRS the time to complete the hiring process and train new hires. This way, seasonal workers will be ready to tackle their duties when business picks up.
Applicants must use the federal government’s job application portal USAJobs to apply for open positions. All federal agencies use USAJobs, so the process applicants go through for a seasonal IRS job is the same as any other federal job.
USAJobs allows applicants to track the status of submitted applications. Agency human resources professionals have incentive to keep applicants informed through the portal. Instead of calling the agency HR office every few days to check on an application’s status, applicants can log into USAJobs and get the latest information.