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IRS Reviews

Updated February 26, 2015
Updated February 26, 2015
436 Reviews
3.5
436 Reviews
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John Koskinen
60 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It also offers a great work/life balance (in 36 reviews)

  • Good Benefits, working with great co-workers who will help you when needed (in 31 reviews)


Cons
  • Lack of career advancement due to budget and status quo (in 5 reviews)

  • Work can become redundant and its hard to move around once stuck in a job series and grade (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Congressional Undercover Investigation Needed

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Contact Representative
    Former Contractor - Contact Representative

    I worked at IRS as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Federal Benefits are good. Being a Federal employee means you can apply for other jobs not available to the public.

    Cons

    Training inadequate. Management skills lacking. I never seen a workplace with so many dissatisfied workers. Outdated computer system. Yes, it may be able to process 150 million tax returns each year, but imagine how quicker it could be done with a modern system. If the computer system was updated imagine how much better Customer Service Representatives would be able to answer taxpayers questions. If you don't believe me go on the internet and view the Internal Revenue Manual, Customer Service Section. This is what customer service employees use to answer your tax questions. Each day there are alerts issued saying rules have changed. You are expected to read these alerts which have not been added to the manual, and remember ALL of them. I have seen Managers and Supervisors who have worked there 15 plus years and do not know the answers to some questions, not because they are unintelligent, but because rules can change minute by minute, hour by hour, etc. Last year during snow storm there was what they call a delayed opening. Some people came in a little early, and where later told this was frowned upon. Really????, this is the wrong mentality. Managers and Supervisors spend so much time on completing various paperwork it leaves little time for continuing training of new employees. If a Manager could spend this time showing new employees what steps to take to resolve a taxpayers problem, wouldn't it be more beneficial, than having them complete paperwork to record how many cases are open, how many are closed,, what the status is. It is in the system, why should they have to complete a paper report. The funniest thing I seen was a statue search form. The system is encoded with the date a statute expires. If you had a modern computer system, you would be able to run a program that would alert you on a daily basis what cases were about to have a statute expiration, therefore you would not miss an assessment. Team Manager and Supervisor salaries are low. While working in a non-management position in the corporate world I made about 12,000 more than a Manager at the IRS. This does not seem right.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice is to Congress, and/or the President. Send an undercover person to go thru training as a Customer Service Person, work the job for a few seasons, and than report to you on the inadequacies. You will be dumfounded at how backwards, the IRS operating polices are. The one that really got me was when we didn't have paper for the printer, did not have any office supplies, print outs of taxpayers information just sitting around on a printer, and had to record 0.3 minutes of time on our timesheet recorded as timesheet prep time. Think the IRS was lying about those lost emails? If you worked there you would believe it could have actually happened. Thank goodness the coporate world works more efficiently.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Horrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Internal Revenue Agent in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Internal Revenue Agent in Chicago, IL

    I worked at IRS full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    None, worst experience of my entire career. Public accounting was far better. Yes, you barely have to work, but when you do you are watched by TIGTA so closely. You are in constant fear of doing something wrong that you are paralyzed from actually getting any work done.

    Cons

    Worst environment to work in. Management is horrible, actual work is beyond boring, and the coworkers are extremely dim whitted (a result increased by tenure).

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

    Very rude and unpleasant toward temp workers during tax season

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

    I worked at IRS part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    There is nothing good about this.

    Cons

    I was bullied by some Coogi sweater wearing mail pusher while I was there, and he wasn't even a supervisor. Was even approached and yelled at by him in front of other coworkers while I addressed the issue with a supervisor. Not only was the supervisor unsupportive, but she also found fault with me for bringing it up.

    Security guard at the door was nasty and insulting towards me and other coworkers.

    Then, I didn't get paid. Numerous calls were made to straighten it out. Instead of resolving the problem, the supervisor played the "blame game" once I was able to get her on the phone. I said "Look, none of that matters. I'm just trying to get paid."

    I don't even think I got 15 hours of work out of it before they told all the temps our service was no longer needed. It was a definite waste of time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You attract more bees with honey than with vinegar. If you need help to get the job done and you aren't even going to give people enough hours to make it worth their time to take the job, you're going to have to exhibit some common courtesy at a minimum

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

    Ashamed to live in this country.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IRS Contact Representative in Holtsville, NY
    Current Employee - IRS Contact Representative in Holtsville, NY

    I have been working at IRS full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Job security if you don't do things you are repeatedly warned not to do.

    Cons

    The IRS employees as a whole are the largest group of unprofessional annoying, rude, miserable, unhealthy, and often alcoholic, group of employees I've ever seen or worked with. They are hired often because they have family that work there! Not because they even necessarily meet the minimal requirements that are supposedly required for the job I.e. 4 years of college or equivalent experience. How does a 19 year old who can't even do her own work have that experience? No, her mom actually illegally does some of her daughter's work! Goodbye taxpayer privacy. The employees have never seemed to care about this country. It's not even part of the several months long training to mention once that we should be out are serving our country. And every day thousands of dollars go out to Identity Thieves. All day. Every day. And obviously.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set a better example. Fire more lazy idiots. For God's sake. Our country is going down the tubes. Have some dignity!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Horrible Place to Work

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

    I have been working at IRS full-time

    Pros

    Health benefits are good and they allow you to stay on it if you are on seasonal furlough (although you do have to repay it), annual and sick leave are separated and start to accumulate from your first pay period (which is good because after working here for a few months you'll want to call in sick a lot)

    Cons

    There are too many cons to list but I will try. Promotions are based almost entirely on seniority, so although they recognize you as a good worker, they can't do anything to advance your career unless you have been there several years. This is especially true if you are a seasonal worker since every advancement available within the local office requires you to be a year-round employee. Morale at the office is very low for a variety of reasons and I've heard multiple people say it is the worst job they've ever had. They clock every minute of your day into your time sheet, this includes you leaving your desk to go to the bathroom. They offer little to no encouragement and always have something to criticize you on, even if you are the best worker there. Seasonal workers are only given a few days notice when they are furloughed and there are often a lot of scares of early furlough. You are constantly being told to follow rules that are completely inefficient and when you question it no one can explain why it is a good policy and you're told you need to do because the policy says so. The callers are often very angry which is primarily caused by failed IRS policies and ridiculously long time frames.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is little local management can do, so perhaps they should work to connect more with Washington to have their employee concerns addressed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    As a former employee, I was treated unfairly & dismissed as a hard worker for the IRS. I have nothing good to say!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY

    I worked at IRS full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The only good thing is that I met & became good friends with several employees for life.

    Cons

    The Office Managers & Lead Group Assistants are incompetent. They hold positions for 15 to 18 years by bullying & threatening new employees before they reach their 1 year permanent status. There is definite lack of leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-examine the treat of your staff by senior management. Administrative employees are the staple that are the hard workers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 (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
  9. 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 (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
  10. 2 people 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 (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
  11. 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 (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

IRS Photos

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (Photo thanks to Flickr user cliff1066tm, available under by 2.0)
IRS Building (Photo thanks to Flickr user davidboeke, available under by-sa v2.0)
Grand Architecture - This grand facade is the IRS Building on 12th Street NW! (Photo thanks to Flickr user SP8254, available under by-nc-nd v2.0)

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