Treasury Taps Interim IRS Leader as John Koskinen Exits

By Richard RubinFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

David Kautter, the Treasury Department's top tax-policy official, will temporarily take over the Internal Revenue Service in mid-November, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Thursday.

Mr. Kautter will be doing double duty, helping work on the tax plan moving through Congress while overseeing the tax-collection agency.

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"David will provide important leadership while we wait to confirm a permanent commissioner," Mr. Mnuchin said in a statement. "Assistant Secretary Kautter has had an illustrious 40-year career in tax policy, and I am confident that the IRS and the American people will benefit from his experience and insight."

Mr. Kautter will take over for John Koskinen, whose term is expiring Nov. 12. Mr. Koskinen started at the IRS in 2013, chosen by President Barack Obama to run the agency amid controversy over its treatment of conservative groups seeking nonprofit status.

President Donald Trump hasn't yet nominated a successor to Mr. Koskinen, and the Senate confirmation process could take months.

It will be a politically fraught choice for a challenging job. Mr. Trump, unlike past presidents, hasn't released his own tax returns, citing a continuing IRS audit. Although commissioners typically don't get involved in individual cases, Mr. Trump's choice would oversee that process along with the potential implementation of a new tax law, if Congress passes one.

Career civil-service workers will continue to run day-to-day operations at the IRS, an agency that has just two politically appointed positions, the commissioner and the chief counsel.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2017 11:28 ET (15:28 GMT)