Shulman to Leave IRS at End of Term
|Date Posted: October 10, 2012|
The IRS commissioner who spearheaded the agency during an initiative that launched hundreds of audits of employers’ fringe benefit plans is stepping down from his post. The IRS officially announced Oct. 10 that Commissioner Doug Shulman will step down at the end of his term Nov. 9.
Most employers did not like the audit initiative, called the employment tax national research program, that began under Shulman’s watch and under which the IRS is looking for trends and common areas of non-compliance. The initiative is in its third and final year. However, Shulman also oversaw some employer-friendly developments as the nation’s tax collector while serving his term as commissioner. Responding to calls to simplify the treatment of employer-issued cell phones in 2009, he and U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner called on Congress “to make clear that there will be no tax consequences to employers or employees for personal use of work-related devices such as cell phones provided by employers.” In 2010, as part of the Small Business Jobs Act, Congress removed cell phones and “other similar telecommunications equipment” from the “listed property” provisions of Code Section 274(d). That cleared the way for the IRS to provide more specific guidance; namely, to eliminate all recordkeeping requirements regarding employer-provided cell phones and similar equipment for tax years after 2009. Employers applauded the move.
A release stated that earlier this year, Shulman had signaled his intent to step down. He will be replaced by 25-year IRS veteran Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steven T. Miller, according to the release.
“The IRS team made remarkable progress in the last few years during a challenging period,” Shulman said in a written statement. “It has been an honor to serve the American people during this dynamic time.”