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Douglas O’Donnell Named Acting IRS Chief

An IRS lifer, Douglas O’Donnell most recently was deputy commissioner for services and enforcement.

IRS Deputy Commissioner Douglas O’Donnell will serve as acting IRS commissioner once the four-year term of current IRS chief Charles Rettig expires on Nov. 12, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced today.

O’Donnell is an IRS lifer, having spent more than 36 years at the agency in a variety of roles. Before being named deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, he served as the commissioner of the IRS large business and international division for nearly six years.

Rettig, who was a tax attorney for the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based law firm Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez (now Hochman, Salkin, Toscher & Perez), was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the IRS in January 2018. Congress voted on and approved his nomination in September 2018.

“I want to thank Commissioner Rettig for his tireless service to the American people across two administrations, and his leadership of the IRS during the difficult and unique challenges posed by COVID-19. I am grateful to him for his partnership and efforts to ensure taxpayers had the resources they needed to make it through the pandemic,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a written statement. “Deputy Commissioner O’Donnell has dedicated his career to serving American taxpayers through every level of the agency. His commitment to improving the experience of the American taxpayer will guide his and the agency’s work as they continue their efforts to propel the IRS forward during a critical period of modernization. Now more than ever, the IRS has the momentum to transform with service, technology and workforce improvements that will make it a world-class agency to meet the needs of the American people.”

President Joe Biden is in the process of finding a new IRS commissioner to nominate. Bloomberg reported last month that the Biden administration wants someone with deep management and business experience to lead the agency.