Occ. Code 6627100




New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Excise Tax Investigators 1 conduct investigations of reported or suspected violations of the Cigarette Tax Law in order to assist in the apprehension and Prosecution of suspects and violators. These incumbents regularly question witnesses and complainants and maintain surveillance of suspects to obtain information relevant to the conduct of law enforcement activities. These positions have been designated as police officers under Section 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law.


Positions in this class are found only in the Department of Taxation and Finance within the Special Investigations Bureau.




Excise Tax Investigators 1 are characterized by extensive field activities in their investigations of alleged cigarette smuggling in New York State. They regularly maintain surveillance of known or suspected cigarette tax evaders and gather information on alleged cigarette smuggling from informants, police officials and cigarette vendors. They obtain and execute search warrants, confiscate contraband cigarettes, apprehend and arrest suspects and have them booked and arraigned before a judge. They also testify in court as expert witnesses for the State.


Excise Tax Investigators 1 are law enforcement oriented as indicated by their police officer status, by the policy of the Department of Taxation and Finance regarding enforcement of the Cigarette Tax Law; and by the nature of their enforcement assignments. This distinguishes this class from many other investigator positions which investigate primarily civil and administrative matters.


Excise Tax Investigators 2 perform as the first line field supervisor and are responsible for the administrative and technical supervision of a group of Excise Tax Investigators 1. The investigative squad under an Excise Tax Investigator's 2 direction usually consists of at least five investigators; however, when required additional personnel may be assigned.


Positions which are involved primarily in the confidential investigation of a variety of civil and administrative matters such as the claimed qualifications of candidates for State jobs are classified as Investigator, while License Investigators investigate violations of the laws, rules and regulations governing the operations of real estate brokers, private detectives, steamship ticketing agents, notaries public, billiard parlors and barber, beauty and cosmetology shops.


In addition, positions which investigate situations detailed in complaints and police arrest reports alleging violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and related rules and regulations are classified as Beverage Control Investigator.


Positions which investigate criminal activities in the use of counterfeit or forged motor vehicle license registrations and related documents, or violations of the Financial Security Law are classified as Motor Vehicle Investigator.  These positions also perform some routine inspections of issuing offices operating practices, records review and related work' Similarly, positions which investigate possible frauds concerning unemployment insurance benefits are classified as Unemployment Insurance Investigator.




Conducts investigations of reported or suspected violations of the Cigarette Tax Law.







Apprehends and arrests persons suspected of violating the Cigarette Tax Law and/or violating other laws at the time of arrest.


·        Obtains and executes search warrants in accordance with the laws of search and seizure.



·        May be required to forceably subdue and disarm suspects during an arrest.




·        Prepares and/or assists in the preparation of the final report of the investigation.


Participates as an investigator and an expert witness in the prosecution of accused violators.





Cooperates with other law enforcement agencies at the State, federal and/or local level in the enforcement of the Cigarette Tax Law by sharing information and giving advice on the investigating process.




Excise Tax Investigators 1 have frequent oral communications with informants, suspects, violators and State and municipal law enforcement officials concerning evidence and facts implicating persons in criminal activity relating to cigarette sales. Incumbents must establish rapport with this wide range of individuals, some of whom are uncooperative, in order to obtain information or leads which will form the basis of facts sufficient to successfully prosecute a case.


Within their own organization, investigators have frequent oral communications with other dispatch, patrol and fixed post investigators for the primary purpose of providing factual information concerning ongoing investigations. These communications are clear, comprehensive and concise and investigators may use standard police communication codes.


Investigators also prepare written factual reports of incidents and activities for submission to their supervisors. Such reports must be clear and comprehensive as they may become part of a court proceeding.




Excise Tax Investigator 1 is a non‑supervisory position. However, in those cases involving more than one investigator, usually one will serve as lead investigator in the field. Excise Tax Investigators 1 work under the supervision of an Excise Tax Investigator 2. However, many of the tasks performed in the field are done independently within the framework of specific instructions previously given and agency procedures and policy. Incumbents are usually assigned to a field investigative squad consisting of six persons and receive guidance relative to policies and procedures from the Excise Tax Investigator 2. Excise Tax Investigators 1 receive the following kinds of supervisory direction: review of investigator's reports of activities and incidents; determination of assignments; on‑site observation of performance and instruction in law enforcement technique; briefing on current investigations at the beginning of shifts; and performance appraisal and evaluation.




Excise Tax Investigators 1 regularly bear firearms and are required to demonstrate proficiency in their use. The investigators also operate motor vehicles, two‑way radios, electronic surveillance equipment, and recording devices in the performance of their duties.




The responsibility for making felony arrests combined with the presence of organized criminal groups in cigarette bootlegging operations presents a potential for physical harm to Excise Tax Investigators 1.




·        Working knowledge of police procedures and law enforcement technique.


·        Working knowledge of the basic principles of investigation.


·        Good knowledge of the laws and rules of evidence and criminal procedure.


·        Good knowledge of the laws of search and seizure.


·        Working knowledge of specific provisions of the Cigarette Tax Law.


·        Basic knowledge of human behavior.


·        Ability to maintain surveillances.


·        Ability to operate electronic surveillance equipment and recording devices.


·        Ability to drive a motor vehicle.


·        Ability to operate and communicate on a two‑way radio.


·        Ability to adapt investigative methods to specific situations.


·        Ability to make convincing oral presentations.


·        Ability to perform strenuous physical tasks and to defend oneself.


·        Ability to compile concise, comprehensive and accurate written reports.


·        Ability to use firearms with prescribed precision.


·        Ability to analyze and evaluate information and evidence.


·        Ability to understand and interpret written material.


·        Ability to establish rapport with others in order to facilitate the gathering of information.




Four years of satisfactory full‑time paid experience in a field investigative position. Specialized college study in a law enforcement program such as criminal justice or police science at a recognized college or university may be substituted for the required experience at the rate of 30 semester credit hours for one year of experience up to a maximum of 90 credit hours.


In addition, at the time of appointment candidates must have citizenship, must be legally eligible to carry firearms, must possess a license valid for operating a motor vehicle in New York State, and must meet physical and medical requirements as determined by the Director of Employee Health Services.




Reviewed:  4/07


NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.