IRS Reviews

Updated August 24, 2014
Updated August 24, 2014
354 Reviews

3.4
354 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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John Koskinen
38 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work life balance, great learning experience (in 31 reviews)

  • Good Benefits, working with great co-workers who will help you when needed (in 27 reviews)


Cons
  • The downside is that there have been a pay freeze, hiring freeze, and furlough (in 7 reviews)

  • Lack of career advancement due to budget and status quo (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    They sweep everything under the carpet and hide the facts. A lot of Covering Up goes on

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IRS full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    There currently are none. The upper management doesn't have a clue

    Cons

    They can't get any good managers! And since the budget cuts, the Training they used to give is worst than ever, if you even get training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    management needs to pay more attention to their employees work and the good jobs they do rather than participate in unethical practices

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Soul-crushing bureaucracy (unlike many Federal agencies)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management & Program Analyst
    Current Employee - Management & Program Analyst

    I have been working at IRS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Never going out of business; great job security; telework (after one year). As with any U.S. Federal position there are significant benefits. Lots of training.

    Cons

    Feel free to review the "Internal Revenue Manual" which is available online at http://www.irs.gov/irm .
    (IRM) 6.335.1.12.16(10) (12-29-2009) says, in part, “there are two situations when the losing office should not object to an employee’s release”. This is publicly available at http://www.irs.gov/irm/part6/irm_06-335-001.html

    A. IRS (unlike any other Federal agency I am aware of) has the ability to require employees to
    1. Change positions without consent, and/or
    2. remain in a position even if the employee successfully competes for a solicited detail assignment or full-time position if that position is a "lateral" (meaning same salary level).

    B. Soul-crushing bureaucracy even for the most flexible. : )

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address the items listed under "Cons" above.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    I never realized how bad it was until I went to a different agency!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tax Examiner
    Former Employee - Tax Examiner

    I worked at IRS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Generally your coworkers are wonderful, and being able to work a flex schedule is healthy- good work/life balance. You need that if you're going to work at the IRS.

    Cons

    Now that I've been in a different agency for over a year I can look back at my time at the IRS and wonder how I survived... management is horribly incompetent, under educated, worried only about their own numbers. An incredible, unbelievable amount of unprofessional behavior from managers- frontline employees were actually much more civil, professional and fair in their dealings with each other and taxpayers. IT systems outdated, unmanageable. It's amazing any work could ever get done. Has anyone ever noticed on these reviews that the managers love their jobs and the frontline employees hate it?? Could that be because managers live in a bubble and have no idea how to do the work they require their subordinates to do everyday? And the stress level that their constant, unreasonable, endlessly changing demands require of their employees? In light of all of the public scandals recently it's an embarrassment to say that I ever worked at the IRS. And there is no level of pay grade or money you could ever pay me to go back!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of your ivory tower and go do the job that you are asking your employees to do. See how it feels to have your priorities changed several times a day be watched constantly and monitored every time you go to the bathroom. Then see how it feels to come up with new and more efficient ways of doing things only to have your manager say "we've never done things like that before ...we can't do that". And you wonder why you're losing your best employees to private industry or other agencies? Look in the mirror ....it's you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Last resort

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tax Examiner  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Tax Examiner in Austin, TX

    I worked at IRS full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The office is close to my home so I did not have to waste a lot of time going to and from it.

    Cons

    This is the worst working environment I have ever had the misfortune to experience. It is a model of inefficiency, mismanagement and government waste. Nepotism runs rampant. "Diversity" is a religious pursuit. If you are a white non-Latino male, consider yourself a heretic (except for top management maybe). Incentives are non-existent. There is a reward and punishment system in place - without the rewards. The major task is data entry as the IRS compiles massive records on everyone. To do this, you work with command-based 1970 software. The promise of more robust methods never materializes because the government doesn't put the talent where it could make a meaningful contribution, even though the talent is there. The mass of low level workers enter the data while frontline management spends countless hours making out meaningless reports for upper management. Every minute must be accounted for but its all a sham and everyone knows it. Most work is make-work. Internal forms are generated by one department to keep another department busy to keep yet another department busy. Sometimes the forms end up back where they came from. Then the forms are stored in giant warehouses where they rot for the X number of years or so before being trashed. The most commonly heard reason for doing any task is "job security." This catch phrase can be heard ringing throughout the many buildings housing thousands of employees who understand that Job 1 is creating busy work to reduce the national unemployment rate. And don't expect your skills and abilities to be appreciated or used. You will be trained to be a cog. No thinking permitted. Creativity and easily implemented efficiency suggestions will only get you in trouble. Before seeing it for myself, there is no way I would have ever realized how wasteful and inefficient our federal government really is. If you try to change it, you will be punished. It's not the low-level workers who are overpaid but they are the ones who will suffer from government belt-tightening. So sad but all true. I could go on and on. I worked many jobs there and it was always the same with a few variations. I held out hope that I would find a niche where I could utilize my talents and make a meaningful contribution through public service. I'm finally convinced that such a place does not exist within this agency.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management is the problem. There is a pervasive lack of management skills. People skills are absent throughout all management levels. Leadership does not exist. These people are bureaucrats. They follow procedures. Of course there are exceptions, but overall, it's the worst management I can imagine.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Career advancement only through tenure. Paradigm of the Dilbert Principle.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tax Examining Technician  in  Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Tax Examining Technician in Richmond, VA

    I have been working at IRS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Only consider working here if defined benefit plans, very good health insurance, and job security are important. Very liberal paid time off.

    Cons

    Mislead, Misinformed, Static, No career development, Very poor leadership;
    Changes within the organization almost exclusively create more inefficiency; tenure paramount for advancement; too many support employees; bloated management structure

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Concentrate on employee career development. Hire more front-line employees. Needs more external oversight. Should have a management consulting firm studying the vast, systemic inefficiency of the organization.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    CSR

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative  in  Fresno, CA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Fresno, CA

    I worked at IRS full-time

    Pros

    pay is decent work; work environment is good, its a job..

    Cons

    over worked; work yourself right out of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is no giving management advice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    I was bullied to within an inch of my life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Specialist  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - IT Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at IRS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good Government job; interesting work; many great coworkers; easy to do well in terms of great evaluations and winning formal awards.

    Cons

    After three years of doing well, I was suddenly targeted for extreme bullying by the executive team. They made false accusations against me and tried to discipline me based on those false accusations. What they did was inexplicable, but I will never forget it. My career was completely destroyed within an eight-month period. A dream job turned into a nightmare.I was forced to leave the Agency by upper-level management. They knew of my outstanding record.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would feel ashamed to be a participant in that kind of harassment. It did nothing for the agency as a whole. Don't you have anything better to do than to spend hours in meetings taking turns using a great employee as a punching bag?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    there are many better government agencies to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tax Examiner
    Current Employee - Tax Examiner

    I have been working at IRS full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The IRS work is production line. Period. You are directed: when you see this, do this.
    If you are accustomed to self-directing, using logic, and decision-making,
    this job is not for you. That said, the job could be great if your energy is needed for home-life issues outside the workplace.

    Cons

    The IRS work is production line. Period. You are directed: when you see this, do this.
    If you are accustomed to self-directing, using logic, and decision-making,
    this job is not for you.
    Sadly, the union and the management have a stranglehold on each other and many workplace
    issues are actually not addressed as a result. There are diversity issues. Employees treat each other badly, and a select few are regularly bullied. Many people keep their heads down and say nothing. I tried that. Then I became a target of bullying. Who imagined this could happen? I said nothing, just did my job and the hostility escalated over several years until I was recorded in my car, a general pronouncement about me
    circulated through the general population, and i was unable to resolve the issue in meetings with my direct managers or through the union. Example: my LUNCH BAG was pulled forward on my desk and left open in my absence and my supervisor appeared to know about it. Two years later I joked in a faxed question to an HR person. By the changed behavior in the principals,that HR person apparently reported my quip about bullying to those involved...and never answered my HR question. My experience was that, as a dues paying member, the union did not protect me from the hostile and toxic practices that were accepted as standard procedure by people who had worked there forever and apparently had not worked anywhere else besides, maybe,in a factory.
    There is not much room for advancement if you are not an adherent of this work culture.
    There is even less room if you are a transfer from another agency since they hire by IRS duty time and not your SCD. Low level front line supervisors are called managers. In my experience these are people who
     survive the work culture by employing gossip and finger-pointing. They deflect attention from themselves
     and I would say a low percentage of those raised to supervisory positions have any college management
    training whatsoever. They manage using "bad parent" strategies and do not trust their people to do the job.
    They do not raise themselves above the malicious gossip and, in fact, use the gossip machine to their own ends.
    Finally, if you have any HR issues you will be expected to rely on your untrained supervisor or ask some union person, or callan 800 number and take out a ticket for some untrained HR customer service person to call you back. And...don't even think about retiring from this agency. Get out while you can.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Transparency. Withholding information legitimizes gossip. Trust and treat employees as adults. That is the reward for a job well done, not directing employees to form a parade for a newsletter photo op (seriously) OR providing prizes in the work units to be redeemed from the supervisor for candy..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    IRS WAS AN EXPERIENCE

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IRS Contact Representative  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - IRS Contact Representative in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at IRS as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Benefits. Other Federal jobs available to you that are not available to the public.

    Cons

    Contact Rep - Phila.- Training was very poor. Did not teach you how to use the computer tools you need to use when performing the job. No hands on training. Phone training consisted of listening to 1 call made by an on the job instructor, than thrown on the phones. No mentoring. Management started this way so they are reluctant to make sure new employees are full trained. You are thrown to the fire. Given errors on 2 cases I handled. Errors were made by me because I followed the instructions the Manager gave me to resolve the case. Their instructions were wrong. What does this tell you???? Atmosphere very unprofessional.
    Constant foul language by employees, and management. I have over 20 years of financial / accounting experience. Computer system they use IDRS is from the 1960's. No one wants to take initiatve to upgrade. Definetly a pass the buck Agency. Good at patting their selves on the back, but if Obama did an undercover investigation of this place, he would certainly see the tax dollars wasted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop doing things the same way. You know how bad training is. Have CSR's currently in the job over 3 years sit with new employees for at least 2 months doing paper, and phone calls. This would eliminate many errors. Stop doing so much paperwork, tracking errors, time on phone, sign on sign off codes, really, tracking timesheet preparation, really?? Also, Managers need to be professionally trained. If you are reviewing an employee do it in private in a conference room. Not in a semi-office that does not have a roof, everyone can hear the conversation. If a manager wants to listen to your phone calls, come to the employees cubicle, don't hide in the cubicle in the next aisle to listen. Even Managers do not know how to fully use the system. This place is very backwards. My advice would be to hire an outside professional training team. Computers in training class were not available from the start. You really don't need a trainer if they are only going to read from the training books, and not do anything hands on. People in other classes were exposed to more on hands training and were shown how to use the tools. My class was not. My class was very disruptive with employees on phones, laughing, have full blown coversations, and falling asleep. So bad they changed our seats like we were in grade school.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Assembly workers without any human decency or caring for their fellow citizens

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Correspondence Exam Technician  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Correspondence Exam Technician in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at IRS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Virtual life employment and reliable pay.

    Cons

    Treated like a machine and not allowed any input.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too much to discuss in a short sentence. The Bureacracy doesn't allow for any input from employees and it is by the book regardless if it is correct or timely or even makes good business sense...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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