Beverly Hills tax attorney and Academy of Magical Arts member Charles Rettig is on the cusp of becoming the next commissioner of the IRS, after the Senate Finance Committee voted 14-13 on July 19 to send his nomination to the Senate floor.
The nomination vote, which fell along party lines, had to be postponed until Thursday afternoon because not enough senators had showed up to the morning session to vote.
Even though Democrats on the panel believe Rettig is qualified to lead the IRS, they voted against his nomination to protest guidance released on July 16 by the Trump administration that limits some tax-exempt groups’ disclosure of donor information to the IRS, according to The Hill.
Democrats are worried that the new rules will make it easier for foreign governments to influence U.S. politics through “dark money” donations.
According to The Hill:
Under the guidance, many types of tax-exempt organizations — including social-welfare groups such as the National Rifle Association and Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by conservative brothers Charles and David Koch — will no longer have to provide the IRS with the names and addresses of significant donors on annual forms.
“The Trump administration has taken a qualified nominee and dumped him right into the middle of a dark money political firestorm of their own creation,” said Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
If confirmed by the Senate as the new IRS commissioner, Rettig, who has spent the past 35 years as a tax lawyer at Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez in Beverly Hills, Calif., would have the unenviable task of overseeing and enforcing the new tax law that President Trump signed late last year. He also would preside over the first tax-filing season under the new tax code.
During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on June 28, Rettig said his overarching goal would be to “strengthen and rebuild the trust between the IRS, the American people, and their representatives in Congress.”
If confirmed, and I’d bet the farm on it, Rettig would serve the remainder of a five-year term that ends in November 2022.