On March 2, 2018, President Trump nominated Michael Desmond to be the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unfortunately, the Senate did not get around to confirming him. On January 16, 2019, President Trump renominated Mr. Desmond, and the US Senate Committee on Finance has scheduled a hearing for February 5th to consider his renomination.

The Chief Counsel is the top legal advisor to the IRS Commissioner on all matters pertaining to the interpretation, administration and enforcement of the Internal Revenue laws. The Chief Counsel also provides legal guidance and interpretive advice to the IRS, Treasury and to taxpayers. Mr. Desmond clerked for Judge Ronald S.W. Lew of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. From 1995 through 2000, he served as a trial attorney in the Tax Division at the Department of Justice, and from 2005 through 2008 he served as tax legislative counsel at the Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Policy.

Mr. Desmond has a strong reputation in the tax community, and we hope that his nomination is acted on immediately.

William J. Wilkins has tendered his resignation as Chief Counsel effective as of noon on January 20, 2017. Mr. Wilkins was nominated by President Obama to replace Donald L. Korb, who resigned from the position in late 2008. Mr. Wilkins was confirmed by the Senate to serve as Chief Counsel in July 2009. Prior to becoming Chief Counsel, Mr. Wilkins was a partner with WilmerHale and previously worked for the United States Senate Committee on Finance and as an associate at King & Spalding. He previously served as Chair of the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association. William M. Paul has been named as Acting Chief Counsel.

The Chief Counsel is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. The Chief Counsel is the chief legal advisor to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on all matters pertaining to the interpretation, administration and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Laws and provides legal guidance and interpretive advice to the Internal Revenue Service, Treasury and taxpayers.