Career as a revenue officer
Helen York works in Carlisle as a revenue officer for the Inland Revenue. Along with three of her colleagues, she uses the court system to collect outstanding debts from people who have not paid their income tax or national insurance.
What do you do each day?
My first task is to open all the post that has come directly to me from other Inland Revenue offices, the local County Court or taxpayers. Then, I respond to anything that needs dealing with urgently. I might need to make telephone calls or send out letters to progress the cases of non-payment of tax through the County Court.
Most of my day is spent organising all the processes needed to get tax from people who have not paid. Sometimes, settlement can only be achieved when the individual is taken to court.
Do you meet people in your job?
Yes. I work on a rota system with colleagues to staff the counter which deals with customer queries. I can be taking cash payments from people or working out arrangements with taxpayers who need more time to pay their tax bills.
What skills do you need to be a revenue officer?
I need to be able to use my initiative, as well as work with others. It also helps to be a good communicator and have patience, as I need to deal with angry people sometimes. Finally, it's important to be able to use computers, including word processing packages.
What are the best things about your job?
The best thing is that every case I deal with is different. This keeps the work interesting and challenging. Also, the Inland Revenue offers opportunities to develop yourself and your career. I have already attended a three month Prince's Trust Volunteers programme and I went to Romania as the assistant team leader on a project to redecorate a children's orphanage. Soon, I am going to Poland as the team leader on a project to renovate a women's aid refuge.
I also enjoy working with my colleagues, as we all get on very well. Although we work very hard, there is a sociable atmosphere.
What do you find a challenge?
Understanding the County Court process is a challenge, but this also keeps the work interesting. For instance, the continual changes in regulations and procedures mean that I have to adapt to new rules.
What hours do you work?
I work a normal 37 hour week on a flexitime system, which means I can choose the times when I start and finish. Sometimes I have to work longer hours in order to meet a deadline, but I can take time off at a later date instead.
Helen's route to her career as a revenue officer
- NVQs in Administration at Level 2and 3.
- Advanced GNVQ in Business Law.
- RSA word processing, typewriting and audio transcription qualifications at Level 2 and 3.
- Work placement at the Inland Revenue.
- Employed at a solicitor's firm.
- Joined Inland Revenue as revenue officer.
Helen's revenue officer tips
- Make the most of school to get some qualifications.
- Try to get a work placement in a department where you want to work. If you create a good impression, you will be remembered.
Revenue officer related jobs
- Accounting technician
- Accounts/finance clerk
- Civil Service executive officer
- Court administrative officer
- Credit manager
- Legal executive
- Local government revenues officer
Salary of a revenue officer
- Administrative assistants/officers in the Inland Revenue earn between £12,620 and £17,160 nationally, or between £15,480 and £21,050 in London.
- At executive officer level, salaries range between £17,510 and £23,110 nationally, or between £20,330 and £26,730 in London.
Career as a revenue officer
- To become an administrative assistant/officer in the Inland Revenue, you do not always need formal qualifications. However, you will need to sit an assessment test, which is based on the type of work that you would be doing.
- Administrative officers train both on the job, learning from experienced staff, and on formal courses.
- Some Civil Service departments may ask for four or five GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3) or equivalent vocational qualifications, including English.
- You may get the opportunity to study for nationally-recognised vocational qualifications such as NVQs/SVQs in administration.
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