New IRS Commissioner Starts Nov. 12

The White House has announced that David Kautter will assume the post of interim commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service on November 12, when current commissioner John Koskinen's term expires.

As acting commissioner, he will oversee the nation's largest tax agency. Deputy commissioners Jeff Tribiano and Kirsten Wielobob will continue to guide the day-to-day actions of the IRS.

“David will provide important leadership while we wait to confirm a permanent Commissioner,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a press announcement.

Prior to joining the Treasury Department in August, Kautter was a partner with EY and RSM. He is an adjunct professor and Managing Director of the Kogod Tax Center at American University in Washington D.C., where he is also Executive in Residence in the Department of Accounting and Taxation. 

Kautter has previously served the Trump Administration in the role of assistant secretary of the Treasury Department for tax policy. In that role, he has been seen as instrumental in shaping the administration's efforts on tax reform. Prior to government service, Kautter was

Koskinen has been a lightning rod for conservatives who continue to argue that IRS was used by the Obama administration to persecute or deny tax free status to conservative nonprofit organizations. Lois Lerner, who led the agency's Exempt Organization's Unit from 2005 until 2013, was later cleared of those accusations. Some conservative groups continue to assert that Koskinen impeded the investigation into Lerner and the nonprofit controversy.

Douglas Shulman, who was appointed by George W. Bush in 2008, was the commissioner at the time that conservative groups claim they were discriminated against. He served until after the presidential election in 2012, and was followed by consecutive acting commissioners Steven Miller and Daniel Werfel

“It’s a failure of government that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will be able to serve his full tenure after consistently abusing the public trust, lying to Congress, and obstructing investigations,” said Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., the chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

Kautter will serve as acting commissioner until President Trump nominates a permanent replacement who is subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate.