According to Charles S. Clark, (article in Government Executive, April 11, 2012), the IRS is likely to get a temporary successor. Due to the fact that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman’s term ends the same month as the elections, it is highly unlikely that Obama will appoint a successor in the event he does not win the election.
From the article (link below):
There is apparently ” a long-used process is in place for an acting commissioner to be named. Indeed, there have been 26 acting commissioners since the agency was created in 1862.
The question is not whether there will be an acting commissioner, but for how long,” Kerr said.
If past is precedent, the most likely acting commissioner would be either of the two current deputy commissioners: Steven T. Miller, who handles services and enforcement, or Beth Tucker, who oversees operations support.
Miller is a specialist in tax-exempt organizations and pensions who joined the IRS in 1993 after stints with Congress’ Joint Taxation Committee and in private practice. Tucker has held a variety of IRS jobs, including director of workforce initiatives.
Trinca said Miller “is very capable and well thought-of — kind of a mixture of outsider and insider.” Regardless of who assumes the acting commissioner job, Washington’s “shenanigans” of policy zigzags “will force the IRS to guess what Congress is going to do, which is difficult for the agency” as it prepares for the filing season in early 2013, he said. “
Marcus Owens, an attorney with Caplin & Drysdale who was formerly director of the IRS’ exempt organizations division, agreed the agency “has a deep bench in terms of management, with only two political appointees, so it will deal with Shulman’s departure without any issues.”
He added, “historically, the commissioners have been apolitical.” The interesting question, he said, is whether the administration selects someone in the community of seasoned tax professionals. That used to be the case, Owens said, but the past three — Shulman, Charles Rossotti and Everson — came from other fields.
“The confirmation process is so brutal that people are wary of it, [and presidents] haven’t been going for Washington types for a long time,” Owens said. The commissioner comes “under a lot of scrutiny and a lot of grief. It’s one of the toughest jobs the world for people who earn half of what they would make in the private sector.”
So the question now is, who are these people? I haven’t found much on Beth Tucker other than a lot of comments reqarding what the IRS has been doing to protect taxpayers from Identity Theft. It looks like she has been with IRS for 28 years and has worked her way up in the organization. Interesting that the article doesn’t mention a thing about her but describes Miller’s background. He apparently is a tax lawyer.
No matter who ends up as temporary commissioner, I think we can expect more of the same level of confusion, lack of clear guidance on what IRS will do to try and deal with this mess and an even bigger dis-connect with Congress unless the IRS gets the funding it needs to carry out it’s mandate.
On a side-note, apparently Shulman’s tenure is generally considered a success. This article largely discusses the improvements in the technology aspect of IRS’ issues; I don’t see a word about the “success” in the overseas compliance area. Wonder why?
Of course it would be too simple to just promote TAS Nina Olson to the job. Sadly we are likely to get Stephen T. Miller. He does not impress me that he has any empathy or understanding of the problems that he has participated in creating. More of the same, would be the result.
*Agreed. Why do you think Miller instead of Tucker? Just curious.
No special insight into the decision process, but he has been one who has seemed to be the most obstinate on OVDP/OVDI, (based on quotes I have seen in the past), so thought he would be the natural one to carry on the jihad. I could be wrong, or mis remembering of course.
One advantage of an acting commissioner is the Obama Administration(or Romney) can wash their hands of the OVDP/OVDI situation for a while and place the blame on the career civil service employees at the IRS(notwithstanding the fact that Shulman was a late Bush appointee) to the extent that the likes of Miller and Tucker would continue down the same road as Shulman. Tax collection is a sensitive area in terms of political interference in any country.
Recent Reuter’s Story
IRS leader’s exit worries officials amid tax uncertainty
Miller Gone… About time…
Now, go get the last guy too… Shulman was the biggest problem.
*happy dance*… Miller got his handslapped. as per Just Me’s post.
Schadenfreude would be Schulman going to prison. But Obama is the one who needs to be locked up. It all comes down from the top.
Petros, Shulman is mentioned plenty as being the guy who was in charge at the time the abuse was going on but I highly doubt he will get so much as a slap let alone locked up.
While I agree that the WH probably has ways to direct IRS policy, the IRS has be supposedly free from WH oversight since the Nixon era. Watergate, apparently, motivated Congress to make the IRS one of the few govt operations that are little islands of power onto themselves but, in theory, can’t be used by elected officials as a tool to go after rivals or silence critics. I have my doubts about how that works in practice and also doubt that Obama is the only guy to have had the IRS in his arsenal of weapons.
The good thing about this scandal is that it erodes trust in the tax system. Americans are content to go along with income taxes so long as they think the system is “fair”. Indeed it is the idea of fairness that has allowed the USG to conduct its campaign against expats. So let’s hope that even more dirty laundry is aired. The less trust in the IRS means that it has to step more warily to avoid even more scandal. Exposure as a corrupt, partisan agency that targets people as payback, rivals or simply too weak to fight back would make it harder and harder to push the “fairness” trope on which the system lurches about.
Though I have no doubt that the GOP will try to impeach Obama at some point in his term, I don’t think this is the scandal that will do it. His base is unlikely to turn on him b/c they can’t without admitting that they’ve been wrong all along. And once he appeases the press, they will go back to mindless defense of everything he does. Short of someone leaking a vid with him giggling over the bodies of droned to death Pakistani mothers and their children, I have my doubts that anything will bring this guy down. He is more teflon than Reagan. We could hope for an implosion of the US economy but that would have negative repercussions for the rest of the world and everything I have read said that though it’s coming, it’s probably not soon.
I say we bring as much attention as we can to the fact that this happened during Shulman’s watch. Add to this his unlawful disregard of the required response to the TAD and the refusal to do the right thing regarding FAQ 35.
It is just too delicious to ask whether he is guilty of willful blindness and whether or not he left expecting this to all come out
After all, remember all that boasting about his successes at IRS.
Miller’s head is not enough. The GOP wants Obama’s, we should press them for Shulman’s.
Shulman is scheduled to testify before the Oversight Committee next Wednesday. Dave Camp certainly seems interested in finding out who knew. Shulman agreed to come forth, voluntarily. Slick lawyer?
Look at this quote from John Boehner in this article, that announces Danny Werfel, the controller of the Office of Management and Budget as the new IRS acting commissioner:
“House Speaker John Boehner accused the Obama administration of “remarkable arrogance” and said the scandal might lead to jail time for IRS officials, pointing to a law that mandates up to five years in prison for government officials found guilty of extortion or “willful oppression.”
Loved it. Yeah Schulman should go to jail over OVDP. That perfectly describes this program. extortion and “willful oppression.”
Senate Confirms Koskinen as IRS Commissioner
What do you think? Will this guy restore trust in the IRS?
3 years of apologizing for Fannie Mae ought to be good qualifications for leading the IRS.