Senate Confirms Trump’s Pick for IRS Chief Counsel; Grassley Talks 2019 Tax Filing Season

The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick for IRS Chief Counsel on February 27. Michael J. Desmond was confirmed for the presidentially appointed position, one of only two at the IRS, by an 83-to-15 vote.

“We are extremely proud to have Mike join the overall IRS team, and Mike is extremely proud to come onboard,” IRS Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Rettig wrote in a February 27 email sent to IRS employees. “He is a fabulous choice to lead one of the largest legal teams in the country. There was strong bipartisan support for Mike’s confirmation, and we are excited that he will take the oath of office in the coming days.” Rettig was nominated by Trump in February of last year and sworn in as IRS commissioner last October.

2019 Tax Filing Season

Meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaking from the Senate floor on February 27, said that the 2019 tax filing season is running smoothly. “All systems are operating as expected, returns are being processed, and refunds are being sent out without any major complications,” Grassley said. “At one point, the IRS processed 1.9 million returns in an hour – that’s 536 in a single second,” he added.

Generally, the IRS and the Trump administration continue to garner criticism from Democrats citing to lower tax refunds and complications arising from tax reform implementation. However, Grassley characterized certain claims that smaller tax refunds equate to a tax increase as a falsehood. “Anyone telling the American public that a smaller refund is the same as a tax increase is being intentionally misleading and doing a disservice to the public,” Grassley said. “The size of one’s tax refund merely reflects what you overpaid the IRS in your paychecks last year.”

By Jessica Jeane, Senior News Editor

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