Senators Question IRS Nominee’s Experience
The nominee is a tax attorney with business ties to the president
President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Beverly Hills tax attorney Charles Rettig, was questioned at length today by the Senate Finance Committee about his background and how he would lead a huge, service-focused agency facing challenges on several fronts.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said at the outset of the hearing that the IRS is “at a critical juncture,” with an aging workforce and outdated infrastructure and technology to adequately service the needs of America’s taxpayers. The agency must also continue to implement the new tax law and is struggling to keep pace with the demand for regulations and guidance on how individuals, businesses and tax-exempt organizations can ensure they are complying with the tax changes.
“The challenges I have enumerated are greater than any one commissioner,” Hatch said. “But the commissioner will set the tone of the workforce and will be charged with working alongside Congress to thoroughly and fairly implement and enforce our new tax laws.”
Senate Finance Democrats pressed Rettig on whether he would maintain independence from the Trump White House, which they said often seems to press for tax changes for political reasons. In response, Rettig answered that he would be “staunchly independent” as IRS commissioner.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member on Senate Finance, also questioned Rettig’s management experience. If confirmed, he would go from heading up his own private practice to managing a huge bureaucracy with more than 75,000 employees.
“Running the IRS is a difficult job that involves managing tens of thousands of employees,” Wyden said. “Mr. Rettig has decades of experience in tax matters, but his lack of management experience is a concern.”
Rettig would serve a seven-year term if confirmed by the Senate. He would replace David Kautter, who has been acting commissioner since John Koskinen left at the end of his term in November. Other questions about Rettig's personal investments may be discussed.
This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.