President Donald Trump’s pick for IRS Commissioner told lawmakers that his top goal is to rebuild trust between the IRS, taxpayers, and Congress. IRS Commissioner Nominee Charles “Chuck” P. Rettig testified about his intentions before the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) in a June 28 nomination hearing.
Rettig spoke with lawmakers about how he plans to lead the IRS if confirmed. He highlighted the importance of taxpayer trust. “If I am privileged to serve as Commissioner, my overriding goal will be to strengthen and rebuild trust between the IRS, the American people, and their representatives in Congress,” Rettig said. “That trust is critical to all that the IRS does,” he added.
Similarly, SFC Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, spoke of the importance of taxpayers’ trust in the IRS. “An effective IRS Commissioner must also remember that our tax system relies, in great part, on voluntary compliance,” Hatch said during opening statements. “And the system works best when American taxpayers trust the agency and are able to easily contact the IRS to receive timely and complete answers to their questions.”
Unbiased IRS Operation
Lawmakers asked Rettig about a number of administration-related issues including IRS’s work force, funding, outdated technology, and tax reform implementation. Additionally, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle questioned Rettig about his ability to keep politics out of the IRS’s role of tax administration.
Democratic lawmakers questioned Rettig about his real estate purchases associated with Trump-branded property. According to SFC ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rettig “needs to demonstrate that he will maintain independence from the Trump White House.”
Rettig pledged to lawmakers impartiality if confirmed as IRS Commissioner. “I pledge to this committee impartial, nonbiased operation for the Internal Revenue Service from top to bottom,” Rettig told lawmakers. “I would hope that the members of this committee and the American taxpayers see me as staunchly independent.”
SFC members of both parties thanked Rettig for his commitment to serve as chief of the IRS. Neither the SFC nor full Senate have voted on his nomination. However, Rettig’s bipartisan confirmation is expected on Capitol Hill.
Trump announced his nomination of Rettig for head of the Service last February. Currently, David Kautter is serving as Acting IRS Commissioner. John Koskinen’s term expired last November.
By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff