Tax inspector: job description

Tax inspectors look into whether people and organisations are paying the right amount of tax.

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What does a tax inspector do? | Graduate salaries | Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Tax inspectors (also known as tax professionals) work for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and investigate whether individuals and organisations are paying the right amount of tax. They work with accountants and lawyers as well as taxpayers and, if they find suspected tax evasion, could be involved in the resulting tribunal case too.

Typical duties include:

  • examining financial accounts and related documents
  • interviewing people about suspected fraud cases
  • carrying out research and providing guidance on tax
  • negotiating tax settlements
  • representing HMRC if a case goes to tribunal
  • managing budgets and staff.

Graduate salaries

Starting salaries on HMRC’s graduate programme are around £33,000 but vary depending on location. Salaries rise once you have completed tax specialist programme training.

Typical employers of tax inspectors

Tax inspectors work for the government's HMRC department.

Look for vacancies on the HMRC’s organisation hub on targetjobs.co.uk and the UK government website – closing dates are generally in November for the tax specialist graduate programme.

Qualifications and training required

Both graduates and school leavers can become tax inspectors. Graduates will need a degree in any subject (minimum 2.2) while school leavers can enter HMRC in generalist roles and apply once they have met internal requirements.

Recruits to the tax specialist programme spend up to four years working through it, building skills that will help them move to higher grades and more specialist roles.

Key skills for tax inspectors

  • The ability to work with people in stressful situations.
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical ability.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Excellent numerical and IT skills.
  • The ability to work with detailed and complex information, such as tax legislation.

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