HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has defended its hiring policy after it emerged graduates were working on open tax inspection cases within six months of joining the service.
The four-year taxpayer funded graduate scheme, for which applications end next week, is expected to recruit 210 junior tax inspectors.
Successful applicants are expected to have achieved a 2.2 degree, and are paid a salary of up to £29,256 during training.
In promotional material for the scheme, recent sports science graduate Gavin Dugdale revealed the high level of autonomy trainees enjoy.
"I got to conduct my own investigations after the first six months 'core studies', which means that I get to look at a diverse range of individuals and companies in my work.
"I have a lot of freedom to be autonomous with the work I do," he wrote.
Jonathan Hall, a HMRC spokesman, said it was "entirely possible" that graduates would be working on investigations.
"Tax inspectors have investigations, but it might be looking at the books at the local hairdressers," he said.
Recent graduates would not be working on major criminal enquiries, he said.
The HMRC scheme also offers eight weeks' leave: "Two weeks at Christmas, one week at Easter, one week spring break at the end of May and four weeks' summer break in August."
A recent survey of HMRC staff revealed just 17% of staff were happy with senior management, with a fifth wanting to quit within the next year. Of those asked, 75% were unhappy with their overall benefits package.
It also emerged this month that the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) appointed a 25-year old law graduate with no financial services experience as an adjudicator, after just a month's training.
HMRC are understood to be increasing inspections on the self-employed sector in order to boost collection rates.
Despite improved risk appetite
FOS award limit increase
Relates to 136 million transaction reports
Ceremony will take place 13 November