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Who are we?

Criminal Investigation (CI) is the law enforcement branch of the IRS. Our mission is to serve the American public by investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code, and related financial crimes, in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.

As a Special Agent you will combine your accounting skills with law enforcement skills to investigate financial crimes. Special Agents are duly sworn law enforcement officers who are trained to "follow the money." No matter what the source, all income earned, both legal and illegal, has the potential of becoming involved in crimes which fall within the investigative jurisdiction of the IRS Criminal Investigation. Because of the expertise required to conduct these complex financial investigations, IRS Special Agents are considered the premier financial investigators for the Federal government.

Criminal Investigation Special Agents are part of a diverse workforce that mirrors the taxpaying public we serve.

To learn more about us visit our Criminal Investigation page or read our 2022 annual report.

Key Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be 21 years of age by the time that you complete the training academy and no older than 37 years of age at time of appointment.
  • Qualify based on education, specialized experience, or a combination of the two.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Pass a background and criminal history record check.
  • Pass a pre-employment medical exam.
  • Pass a pre-employment drug test.
  • Pass a pre-employment tax examination.
  • Be legally allowed to carry a firearm.

Major Duties

  • Adhere to the highest standards of conduct, especially in maintaining honesty and integrity.
  • Work a minimum of 50 hours per week, which may include irregular hours, and be on-call 24/7, including holidays and weekends.
  • Maintain a level of fitness necessary to effectively respond to life-threatening situations on the job.
  • Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments.
  • Carry a firearm; must be prepared to protect him/herself or others from physical attacks at any time and without warning and use firearms in life-threatening situations; must be willing to use force up to and including the use of deadly force.

About the Application Process

Step 1: Identify and apply for a position at USAJOBS.gov

Step 2: Online Competency Based Assessment. You will receive an email shortly after completing your USAJOBs application. The email will contain instructions and a link to the online assessment that requires approximately two hours to complete. Regardless of when you receive the email to take the online assessment, the assessment must be completed no later than 48 hours after the USAJOBs announcement closes. No extensions to this time requirement will be made. For additional information, please review the IRS Special Agent Candidate Prep Guide.

Step 3: Manual Qualifications – the information you entered and supporting documentation (transcripts, etc.) is reviewed to confirm that you qualify to advance in the hiring process.

Step 4: Proctored Exam (Special Agent Knowledge and Skill Examination and Writing Sample). You will receive an email with instructions to proceed to the proctored exam site. You must follow the instructions exactly as they are presented to you. This proctored exam will take approximately four hours to complete. If you pass this proctored exam, you will be referred to the selecting official for an interview. For additional information, please review the IRS Special Agent Candidate Prep Guide.

Step 5: Interview. Conducted at an IRS-CI field office by senior managers.

Step 6: Tentative Offer of Employment via email. If you pass the interview, you will receive a tentative offer of employment via email. This offer will also identify the post of duty (POD) that you would be assigned to if you successfully complete the hiring process listed below.

Step 7: Background Investigation / tax compliance check

Step 8: Medical Evaluation

Step 9: Firm Offer of Employment. You will receive the firm offer of employment once you successfully complete the initial background screening, tax compliance check, and medical evaluation (pending final background investigation).

Step 10: Special Agent Basic Training (National Criminal Investigation Training Academy) You will be provided a reporting date to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to complete your training. This training will last approximately six months and is located in Glynco, Georgia.

Pay and Benefits

As a federal employee, the benefits you will receive are unparalleled. Some of the benefits we offer include:

  • Competitive Salary based on qualifications and duty location
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • 13 Vacation Days
  • 13 Sick Days
  • Health and Life Insurance
  • Federal Law Enforcement Retirement
  • Thrift Savings Program

The Special Agent position is unique in that it offers special pay incentives not offered with other IRS positions. For more detailed information about Special Agent pay, click here.

Career Opportunities

  • We're hiring Special Agents now!  Click here to view our current job announcements.

  • Learn more about Special Agent positions by joining one of our virtual information sessions. Click here for a complete list of events.

Learn More!

If you have questions about a career in Law Enforcement, including Special Agent positions, please contact one of our recruiters.

View Open IRS Careers

Get in Touch with the IRS

ALERT: Please do not use this form for tax or stimulus check inquiries. Those inquiries must be addressed here. This form is to be used for IRS Career Inquiries only.