Charles Rettig sworn in as new IRS commissioner

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.

Charles Rettig was sworn in as the 49th commissioner of the IRS on Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He succeeds John Koskinen, whose term expired in November 2017. Since the end of Koskinen’s term, David Kautter has been acting commissioner. Kautter will now return to his position as assistant secretary of the Treasury, Tax Policy. As head of the IRS, the commissioner is “responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Internal Revenue laws” (Treasury Order 150-10 (4/22/82)).

Rettig is an attorney who has practiced with the firm of Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez PC, a tax law firm in Beverly Hills, Calif. He has also served as vice chair, administration, for the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, vice president of the American College of Tax Counsel, and chair of the IRS Advisory Council.

Rettig was nominated by President Donald Trump in February, and his nomination was confirmed by the Senate on Sept. 12, 2018, on a 64–33 vote. Rettig’s term as commissioner will run until November 2022.

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee in June, Rettig acknowledged some of the challenges facing the IRS, including “long waits on the phone and inadequate IT systems” and said he will work with Congress to take on these challenges, “with the impact on taxpayers in mind.” He also said his overriding goal as commissioner would be to “strengthen and rebuild trust between the IRS, the American people, and their representatives in Congress.”

Alistair M. Nevius ( is The Tax Adviser’s editor-in-chief.

Newsletter Articles


2018 tax software survey

Among CPA tax preparers, tax return preparation software generates often extensive and ardent discussion. To get through the rigors of tax season, they depend on their tax preparation software. Here’s how they rate the leading professional products.


Understanding the new Sec. 199A business income deduction

The new deduction allows certain business owners to keep pace with the significant corporate tax cut provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.