Senate confirms Rettig as commissioner

Tax Hot Topics newsletterThe Senate voted 64-33 on Sept. 12 to confirm Charles Rettig as the IRS Commissioner.

Rettig will replace former Commissioner John Koskinen, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in the wake of a controversy that engulfed the agency in 2013 regarding the targeting of certain tax-exempt organizations based on political persuasion. Since 2017, David Kautter, the Treasury assistant secretary for tax policy, has filled the role of IRS Commissioner in an acting capacity.

Rettig, a California tax litigator, is the first tax practitioner to be confirmed as the commissioner in more than 20 years. His confirmation will allow Kautter to return to his full time role at the Treasury at a time when IRS and Treasury are furiously working to issue guidance on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was enacted in December 2017.

The IRS is still without a confirmed Chief Counsel. Michael Desmond, also a California-based tax litigator, was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year. It is unclear when Desmond will receive a similar vote before the entire Senate.

Dustin Stamper
Managing Director, Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 861 4144

Liz Askey
Managing Director, Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 521 1513

Shamik Trivedi
Senior Manager, Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 521 1511

Omair Taher
Senior Associate, Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 861 4143

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