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Internal Revenue Service

As a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and as one of the world's most efficient tax administrators, the IRS role is to help the large majority of compliant taxpayers with the tax law, while ensuring that the minority who are unwilling to comply pay their fair share. (Source: www.irs.gov)

This forum will allow you to share and ask job-related questions about this bureau. This is NOT the place to ask tax questions.

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lisa bailey  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 7:13:26 AM(UTC)
lisab

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It's been a long couple of weeks.

Week one -first three days - orientation and chaos. Took the oath.  Some people never showed up.  Heard a couple got in about midnight because of plane delays etc.   Lectures on benefits, presentations on the deadly sins of looking at taxpayer info, losing your compture,  joys of the union, of dealing with hostile taxpayers, back to the consequences of losing your computer.   Getting photos for commissions, badges, picking up badges etc.  Not well organized - people lining up for 2 or three hours at a time.  Room with reps from HR about benefits, payroll etc - all the paperwork we had to fill out.  Got credit cards, will get  commissions when we get back to POD I think but had to have pics taken here.  Meet and greet with VIPs first night and they gave us two free drink coupons. 

Day four and five- IT hell - Angry  more death threats associated with losing computers.  If the building is on fire,  the plane is crashing etc and you have to rescue your computer or your baby you are expected to rescue the computer.  These people are nuts.  assigned computers, set up, passwords (hope you have a good memory - lots of them and don't plan to write them down.)  One teacher and a couple techs.  Students kept haveing to go to the "war room" to get special help because their computers were so bad.  Some tech teachers were good, others were really bad geeks who were horrible I guess.  Lots of internet and web problems couldnt do a lot of the stuff we were supposed to because the internet was down.

Second week - got our regular teachers.  One main instructor and two assistants.  Some good, some bad.  About 24 people in the class.  Hope you like to read -- most of the class is self taught  -- you sit at the computer and just read and take (ungraded for now) quizzes.  Half the time there isn't enough time allotted for the whole course.  Plus there are supplemnetal courses we are supposed to do. 

Did mandatory briefings on stuff we had heard about in orientations  - computer security, taxpayer info security, physical security (don't lose your computer, don't look at taxpayer info or discuss it and don't leave stuff on your desk), sexual harassment, whistle blowing stuff like that.

Learned to use a research program for tax law research and how to do citations.  started learning how to do the actual audits -- acutally the stuff you do before you audit.  Another thing added to the list of deadly sins - don't miss a statute of limitations deadline.  The list of stuff that can get you disciplined, fired or tortured just keeps growing. Ouch Its like law shcool - scare you to death, work you to death,  - j ust waiting for t he bore you to death part.  Learning how to use the audit software - you've never seen anything so antiquated.  Some woman in my class keeps asking how to do this or that short cut, and there is never a way,  Really old software and isn't going to be updated anytime soon.

Learning how to talk with tax payers and doing audit case scenarios.  SOme good stuff depending on which teacher.,  One just reads from the piece of paper.  The other two actually expand on the subject and add stuff from their experience.

Hotel is okay but not great.  If you don't get your room cleaned every day you can get a $5 coupon you can use at the restaurant or starbucks.  Class is 8-4:30 with 15 minute breaks morning and afternoon and lunch.  Most people go to the mall across the street and get subway or some other kind of take out.   Hard Rock and Hooters across the street and other places around.  Found some good clubs.  Make friends with someone who drives to training so you can go out without worrying about the transportation,  Lots of people saving per diem and going to grocery store and stocking up on tuna and pb and j.  Breakfast and snack in the afternoon provided.  Gold's gym cut us a deal and there is a little workout room here.  Lots of different kinds of people.  Some about my parent's ages and some just out of school.  About 6 CPAs in my class, 4 people with masters.  1 from big 4, a few from tax firms, a ffew from private industry, a few from auditing and a couple from other IRS jobs - get to know them.

Phase 2 is graded, homework and more intense from what the teachers said.



Howdas  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 7:21:34 AM(UTC)

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Thanks for the insight.  I was a vendor for a large multi-national organization.  The entire company had a "don't lose any computers" campaign with posters all over the place.  A person I worked with had his computer stolen while on a business trip to my factory.  They almost fired him.  He was a 20 year employee and luckily didn't get fired.  My point is that is could be worse!  I am glad to know how serious the IRS takes computer/data security and I don't have sympathy for irresponsible people.  The sad part is they have to say it over and over to get the message across.  Keep up the posts with the next part of training.  Maybe it will scare off a few applicants!



j  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:01:04 AM(UTC)
ms-tax3

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thanks for the day to day updates...super appreciated insight to training.  Awesome.
Natalie  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:58:08 AM(UTC)
satrel

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Good info, however please specify which position you're describing the training for. Sounds like you're in Exam. BSA and Excise people might have a different courses, but of course there are many similarities. Orientation, benefits, computer stuff, general topics apply to all.

thanks!

Jmackey  
#5 Posted : Sunday, April 11, 2010 1:39:47 PM(UTC)

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How long does training last for? 
Jayla Kent  
#6 Posted : Sunday, April 11, 2010 8:09:24 PM(UTC)
jaylakent

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LOL!! Awesome summary lisab - I could not have put it better myself. For those of you who will be in the NEXT training phase - note that the instructors have told us this class will be the last class with this format. They are revamping the program. Those of us who are in this training are ALL SB/SE - everyone else was shipped off to somewhere else. I think there were some excise people, but they left after first week to go to Tennessee.

They take computer security seriously because of the VA guy having his stolen sometime back a few years ago.

The training overall is about 18 months - the out of POD is 4 weeks Atlanta, 2 weeks POD, 5 weeks Atlanta - then rest POD until early March 2011 - then we have 2 two-week sessions for Corp/Partnership training. The hardest part for me has been learning the software we will be using to do and document the audits - it is NOT user friendly :P

jaylakent2010-04-12 04:15:07
PattyPies  
#7 Posted : Monday, April 12, 2010 9:24:19 AM(UTC)

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 The hardest part for me has been learning the software we will be using to do and document the audits - it is NOT user friendly :P
 
You'll get the hang of it.  When I first went to RGS training (years ago because when I started we didn't even have computers! LOL!) I thought "I'll never learn this".  When you're in training it seems really hard but once you get out of training and you're using it every day you'll get familiar with it.  You are right though - it's not user friendly. I think the people that designed it sit in an office and forget what it's like to be a Field Agent.
Jmackey  
#8 Posted : Monday, April 12, 2010 10:49:01 AM(UTC)

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Can someone let me know how long we go away to train for? I remember something about initial training is 4 weeks, back to POD for 2 weeks, and then away again for 2 weeks....is that right?
Jmackey  
#9 Posted : Monday, April 12, 2010 10:54:53 AM(UTC)

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woops nvm, didn't see the other post 
Natalie  
#10 Posted : Monday, April 12, 2010 1:05:47 PM(UTC)
satrel

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jaylakent wrote:
LOL!! Awesome summary lisab - I could not have put it better myself. For those of you who will be in the NEXT training phase - note that the instructors have told us this class will be the last class with this format. They are revamping the program. Those of us who are in this training are ALL SB/SE - everyone else was shipped off to somewhere else. I think there were some excise people, but they left after first week to go to Tennessee.

They take computer security seriously because of the VA guy having his stolen sometime back a few years ago.

The training overall is about 18 months - the out of POD is 4 weeks Atlanta, 2 weeks POD, 5 weeks Atlanta - then rest POD until early March 2011 - then we have 2 two-week sessions for Corp/Partnership training. The hardest part for me has been learning the software we will be using to do and document the audits - it is NOT user friendly :P


just to make it clear, we all fall in under SB/SE - exam (tax audits), BSA and excise. For some reason initially people think SB/SE is exam only. this clarification would have helped me early on, maybe it will help someone else. on this note, BSA is not planning to hire soon so the next few hiring waves might very well be ALL exam.
BobbyBoy  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, May 18, 2010 1:26:17 PM(UTC)

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hey guys, I am heading down to training in about a month and was just curious what kind of vibe there is down there...do people get together and hang out for some drinks at night to blow off a little steam?
lisa bailey  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, May 26, 2010 1:33:04 AM(UTC)
lisab

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depends on you and the people you get to know.  some of the folks in my class did nothing but hang out and drink then nurse hangovers the next day.  others rented cars and checked out restaurants blues or jazz clubs out of the downtown area.  lots of people hung out, went to malls, 6 flags, white water rafting, lake lanier, pools etc on weekends.  some people were solitary and did their own thing.  some hooking up and that was okay until things went bad then it sucked for everybody espec if people wer in same class or pod .  remember this is your job and you never know when you will run into your teacher
Frank  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, May 26, 2010 1:56:27 AM(UTC)
Vinny

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lisab wrote:
some hooking up and that was okay until things went bad then it sucked for everybody espec if people wer in same class or pod .  remember this is your job and you never know when you will run into your teacher


Seriously? Wow.
wooliewillie  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, May 26, 2010 5:23:10 AM(UTC)

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Have fun. Atlanta should be cool. During the initial training there were quizzes, and you need to pass most of them. They are not super hard but they are a surprise so you don' t get to study for them. You need to pay attention, otherwise they will "speak to you". Any quizzes you fail must be made up back at your POD later on.

And yes, people hang out at the bar, at the pool, at dinner etc. The people you meet the in first few trainings will have a lasting impression on you during your career at the service.
Jamie Jones  
#15 Posted : Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:53:18 AM(UTC)
peach368

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Wow did I read this post way after the fact.  You summarized my experience exactly.  Now we get to wait until (is it March 2011) for flow through?  Anyway, can't wait until the first 18 months is over and we are supposedly fully trained!
lisab wrote:
It's been a long couple of weeks.

Week one -first three days - orientation and chaos. Took the oath.  Some people never showed up.  Heard a couple got in about midnight because of plane delays etc.   Lectures on benefits, presentations on the deadly sins of looking at taxpayer info, losing your compture,  joys of the union, of dealing with hostile taxpayers, back to the consequences of losing your computer.   Getting photos for commissions, badges, picking up badges etc.  Not well organized - people lining up for 2 or three hours at a time.  Room with reps from HR about benefits, payroll etc - all the paperwork we had to fill out.  Got credit cards, will get  commissions when we get back to POD I think but had to have pics taken here.  Meet and greet with VIPs first night and they gave us two free drink coupons. 

Day four and five- IT hell - Angry  more death threats associated with losing computers.  If the building is on fire,  the plane is crashing etc and you have to rescue your computer or your baby you are expected to rescue the computer.  These people are nuts.  assigned computers, set up, passwords (hope you have a good memory - lots of them and don't plan to write them down.)  One teacher and a couple techs.  Students kept haveing to go to the "war room" to get special help because their computers were so bad.  Some tech teachers were good, others were really bad geeks who were horrible I guess.  Lots of internet and web problems couldnt do a lot of the stuff we were supposed to because the internet was down.

Second week - got our regular teachers.  One main instructor and two assistants.  Some good, some bad.  About 24 people in the class.  Hope you like to read -- most of the class is self taught  -- you sit at the computer and just read and take (ungraded for now) quizzes.  Half the time there isn't enough time allotted for the whole course.  Plus there are supplemnetal courses we are supposed to do. 

Did mandatory briefings on stuff we had heard about in orientations  - computer security, taxpayer info security, physical security (don't lose your computer, don't look at taxpayer info or discuss it and don't leave stuff on your desk), sexual harassment, whistle blowing stuff like that.

Learned to use a research program for tax law research and how to do citations.  started learning how to do the actual audits -- acutally the stuff you do before you audit.  Another thing added to the list of deadly sins - don't miss a statute of limitations deadline.  The list of stuff that can get you disciplined, fired or tortured just keeps growing. Ouch Its like law shcool - scare you to death, work you to death,  - j ust waiting for t he bore you to death part.  Learning how to use the audit software - you've never seen anything so antiquated.  Some woman in my class keeps asking how to do this or that short cut, and there is never a way,  Really old software and isn't going to be updated anytime soon.

Learning how to talk with tax payers and doing audit case scenarios.  SOme good stuff depending on which teacher.,  One just reads from the piece of paper.  The other two actually expand on the subject and add stuff from their experience.

Hotel is okay but not great.  If you don't get your room cleaned every day you can get a $5 coupon you can use at the restaurant or starbucks.  Class is 8-4:30 with 15 minute breaks morning and afternoon and lunch.  Most people go to the mall across the street and get subway or some other kind of take out.   Hard Rock and Hooters across the street and other places around.  Found some good clubs.  Make friends with someone who drives to training so you can go out without worrying about the transportation,  Lots of people saving per diem and going to grocery store and stocking up on tuna and pb and j.  Breakfast and snack in the afternoon provided.  Gold's gym cut us a deal and there is a little workout room here.  Lots of different kinds of people.  Some about my parent's ages and some just out of school.  About 6 CPAs in my class, 4 people with masters.  1 from big 4, a few from tax firms, a ffew from private industry, a few from auditing and a couple from other IRS jobs - get to know them.

Phase 2 is graded, homework and more intense from what the teachers said.



Jamie Jones  
#16 Posted : Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:58:49 AM(UTC)
peach368

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BobbyBoy wrote:
hey guys, I am heading down to training in about a month and was just curious what kind of vibe there is down there...do people get together and hang out for some drinks at night to blow off a little steam?


YES.  Yes they do.  Not much else to do after class unless you like to study the entire time or go to bed early.  Of course, we did study and no one I met at training seemed to be irresponsible, but most of us did hang out after class alternating restaurants, bars, and attractions.
TXAFAC  
#17 Posted : Thursday, August 5, 2010 1:11:20 PM(UTC)

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which hotel do we stay at in Atlanta?
Rev_Agent_91  
#18 Posted : Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:20:46 PM(UTC)

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TXAFAC wrote:
which hotel do we stay at in Atlanta?
 
I heard it was a Westin.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke
Rev_Agent_91  
#19 Posted : Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:27:22 PM(UTC)

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Whew!  I'm glad they're going to have one-on-one opportunities with reps about health insurance.  I tried looking at all the various options and it's ridiculous...too many choices!
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke
Rev_Agent_91  
#20 Posted : Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:33:08 PM(UTC)

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For those runners out there headed to Atlanta...
 
 
...and there's a "running concierge!"  :  )
Rev_Agent_912010-08-06 06:39:14
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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