Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Support Rettig as IRS Commissioner

Tax Notes

Caplin & Drysdale Members Niles A. Elber, Mark E. Matthews, Scott D. Michel, Cono R. Namorato, and Christopher S. Rizek are among over 100 tax practitioners and former IRS and Justice Department officials to sign a letter to the Senate Finance Committee urging prompt confirmation of Charles Rettig’s nomination for IRS Commissioner. Below is full text of the letter.

The Honorable Orrin Hatch, Chairman
United States Senate Committee on Finance
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-6200

The Honorable Ron Wyden, Ranking Member
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-6200

Re: Nomination of Charles P. Rettig to be Commissioner of Internal Revenue for the remainder of a term of five years beginning November 13, 2017, vice John Andrew Koskinen.

Dear Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden:

We are over 100 former senior Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department officials and tax practitioners from across the United States writing to urge rapid confirmation of Charles P. Rettig to be Commissioner of Internal Revenue for the remainder of a term of five years beginning on November 13, 2017.

Chuck Rettig is extraordinarily respected in the tax community and highly qualified for the position of Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. During his 35+ year professional career, Mr. Rettig has represented numerous taxpayers before every administrative level of the Internal Revenue Service as well as in matters before the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and various other taxing authorities. He served as Chair of the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC suggests best practices and operational improvements for taxpayer services at the IRS as well as current or proposed IRS policies, programs, and procedures). For almost 20 years, he has served as a Member of the Advisory Board for the California Franchise Tax Board and has also been a Member of the Advisory Council of the California State Board of Equalization. Previously, he chaired the 4,000+ member Taxation Section of the California Bar and is currently Vice-Chair, Administration for the 12,000+ member Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association, and President of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Mr. Rettig has been an invited participant at various United States Tax Court Judicial Conferences, has served as Chair of various national, state and local professional organizations, is a frequent lecturer before such professional organizations, and is a regular columnist and author in various national tax-related publications. Notably, he has served as Chair of the UCLA Extension Annual Tax Controversy Institute for more than 20 years; has Chaired the Ethics, Compliance and Enforcement Subcommittee of the USC Institute on Federal Taxation since 2003; has served on the Advisory Board and Chaired the "Tax Controversies" sessions for the New York University Institute on Federal Taxation since 2007, has chaired the National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud since 2010, and founded and chaired the National Institute on Tax Controversy since its inception in 2011.

Chuck Rettig understands and will protect taxpayers' rights, and he is well-suited to help improve taxpayer service and to oversee the modernization of the ailing IRS information technology infrastructure. He is sure to lead the IRS in its important mission of properly serving and protecting the rights of taxpayers and ensuring the fair, efficient and impartial enforcement of our tax laws. He is well qualified to lead the IRS and ensure accountability at this very critical time for tax administration. As a longtime, strong supporter for the integrity of our system of tax administration, Mr. Rettig will hold both Government and private tax practitioners accountable to the public. His ongoing efforts and concern for the fair treatment of all taxpayers have earned him tremendous respect throughout the Government and private tax practitioner communities. All of us who have known and worked with Chuck over the years know him as a natural leader who will work well with both internal and external stakeholders, including Congress, because he inspires trust, is willing to make hard choices, and calls it like he sees it.

We are confident that Mr. Rettig will be conscientious about proper use of tax enforcement measures to promote and foster voluntary compliance with this country's tax laws. He will bring relevant skills to the position of IRS Commissioner at a time when it is so important to have capable and experienced leaders in senior positions at the IRS.

The Internal Revenue Service, which is responsible for administrating and enforcing the nation's federal tax laws and collecting tax revenue that funds the operations of the government, has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since last November, when the term of the last Commissioner expired. Since then, significant changes have been made to the tax laws that the IRS must implement. In the interests of the administration of the tax laws, we unanimously and enthusiastically urge the Committee to act without delay in its consideration of Mr. Rettig's nomination, and, as soon as practicable, to refer it to the full Senate with a recommendation for his confirmation as the next IRS Commissioner.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

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