What it does: The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collects taxes and enforces taxation laws in the Philippines.
Best known for: being the government unit under the Department of Finance’s control and supervision
Staff stats: more than 10,000 employees
Financials: Php1.956 trillion in total revenue collections for 2020
The good bits: Like other government agencies, the BIR follows a standardized compensation structure with annual increases from 2020 to 2023.
The not-so-good bits: The BIR may take several months to recruit entry-level roles. One reason for the prolonged process involves the necessary time for fresh grads to get several job requirements.
The BIR became a reestablished government bureau in 1947 through Executive Order No. 94. The bureau’s primary responsibilities involve the collection of taxes and enforcement of taxation laws.
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue acts as the head of the BIR. The commissioner oversees a performance evaluation division, three service divisions, and four deputy commissioners’ offices.
As of the fiscal year 2020, the BIR collected Php1.956 trillion in taxes. The amount exceeded the bureau’s revenue collection target for the first time since 2003.
Previous trainees described the BIR’s workplace as productive with friendly colleagues. Most insiders believe that fresh grads can handle the workload that contributes to a healthy work-life balance.
The work schedule is another factor for striking a good balance between a person’s work and personal life. Government employees usually work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
The biggest challenge for fresh grads would involve dealing with the prejudice and stigma of being corrupt. Some employees feel that they are unfairly judged because of the BIR’s unpopular reputation among common folks.
In 2017, the BIR allegedly accepted Php65.4 million from Del Monte Philippines. The amount settled the company’s tax deficiencies worth Php8.70 billion between 2011 and 2013.
The BIR has provided taxpayers with plenty of tax amnesty programs and deadline extensions. In 2020, for instance, the bureau extended the deadline beyond April 15 for corporate taxpayers to file annual income taxes.
The extension happened because of COVID-19 and in observance of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act.
Fresh grads should explore other opportunities while they wait for their application results from the BIR. The slow process can test a person’s patience based on the experience of previous candidates.
Fresh grads should only apply for jobs at the BIR through the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Bulletin of Vacant Positions. Candidates should prepare several documents:
Professionals such as accountants and lawyers would need several more documents. Applicants can find the full list of requirements in every job posting on the CSC Bulletin.
In 2012, the BIR launched an online pre-employment examination (OPE) to help people who lost their jobs because of COVID-19. While OPE prioritizes jobless professionals, fresh grads can still inquire about the new employment process.
Inquiries should be directed to the HR division of the BIR regional office in the candidate’s place of residence. If applicants choose to apply online, they might have to wait for several months.
For example, a candidate may be scheduled for an interview one month after taking the exam. Candidates should prepare for a panel interview.
While the process is slow, insiders said that the interview stage was relatively easy. The questions for fresh grads will focus on their academic background, personality, and skills.
The BIR’s compensation structure follows the government-mandated salary grade table, as per the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2019. The law grants annual salary increases and additional benefits from 2020 to 2023.
As of 2021, most of the bureau’s entry-level salaries for fresh grads fall within Salary Grades 10 to 12.
Minimum monthly compensation for recent grads:
Administrative officers are an example of roles under this pay grade.
Revenue officers are the most common role for this pay grade.
Legal assistants fall under this pay grade.
Some roles at the BIR like an Attorney II fall under this pay grade. It’s one of the few government positions for fresh grads with a high starting salary.
A revenue officer is one of the most common entry-level roles at the BIR that doesn’t require experience. Most revenue officers have a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration or Commerce with 18 units in accounting and/or taxation.
Accountancy graduates can also join the BIR as revenue officers. As an alternative, anyone with a bachelor’s degree can become revenue officers. These individuals must have a Master’s Degree in Accountancy, Business Administration, Management, or Taxation.
Other entry-level roles include accountants, administrative officers, and attorneys. Some roles like legal assistants also don’t require work experience, but they should have four hours of relevant training.
The bureau determines position titles by putting a Roman numeral after each job title (eg Revenue Officer I). A bigger number indicates a higher rank.