White House Names Treasury's David Kautter as Interim IRS Head

David Kautter will become the new interim leader of the Internal Revenue Service, succeeding John Koskinen when his term expires on Nov. 12.

Kautter, who joined the Treasury Department as assistant secretary for tax policy in August, will continue to carry out his duties for that position, including working on a tax overhaul, while overseeing the IRS, according to a statement Thursday from the Treasury. Kautter worked at Ernst & Young LLP for more than three decades, and was head of RSM US LLP’s Washington National Tax Group before taking over the top tax post at Treasury.

“David will provide important leadership while we wait to confirm a permanent commissioner,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

It was expected that Koskinen wouldn’t be reappointed, since he was hired by President Barack Obama and is loathed by congressional Republicans, some of whom tried to impeach him in 2016. Whoever is appointed to replace Koskinen on a permanent basis may have two high-profile and sensitive jobs: helping implement President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts and overseeing an audit of the president’s tax returns.

Trump departed from roughly 40 years of tradition for presidential candidates by refusing to release his tax returns during the 2016 campaign. The president has said he’s under a federal audit and won’t release his returns until the audit is over.

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