Voluntary compliance and enforcement of the tax law are at the heart of our tax system. Over the past several years, the IRS has been challenged to come up with new and more efficient ways to ensure that all taxpayers pay the correct amount of tax. This panel provides an update on new developments at the IRS and in the Tax Court.
This Self Study features the following sections:
IRS OFFICE OF CHIEF COUNSEL UPDATE
Identify key initiatives, priorities, and challenges within different sections of the IRS.
Michael J. Desmond is the 48th Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, where he oversees a staff of more than 2,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 attorneys. Mr. Desmond began serving as Chief Counsel on March 4, 2019, following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on February 27, 2019. As Chief Counsel, he is also an Assistant General Counsel in the Department of the Treasury. After serving as a law clerk for the Hon. Ronald S.W. Lew in the federal district court in Los Angeles, Mr. Desmond began his legal career with the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
After serving in the Tax Division, he joined McKee Nelson, LLP, where he was elected partner in 2004. In early 2005, Mr. Desmond joined the Office of Tax Policy at the Department of the Treasury, where he served as Tax Legislative Counsel through 2008. Following his tenure at the Treasury Department, he spent several years as a partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, California. In January 2012, Mr. Desmond started his own boutique tax firm in Santa Barbara, California, where he practiced until his nomination as Chief Counsel in 2018. Mr. Desmond has held several offices with the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association and served as a Regent for the American College of Tax Counsel. He also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Law. Mr. Desmond was born in Santa Monica, California and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.
Mary Beth Murphy is Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division where she oversees taxpayer programs and services, affecting the nation’s small business and self-employed individuals. She is responsible for providing executive leadership and direction to a nationwide staff of approximately 20,000 employees responsible for service and enforcement programs for taxpayers who file personal, corporate, flow-through, employment, excise and estate and gift tax returns. Mary Beth provides leadership and oversight to the Future State executive team finding bold and creative ways to achieve our goals and enhance collaboration among the business units.
Lisa J. Beard-Niemann is detailed as the Deputy Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division where she provides executive leadership and direction in the design, development, and delivery of a comprehensive tax administration program to meet the needs of small business owners and selfemployed taxpayers.
Paul J. Mamo serves as the Director, Collection in the Small Business/Self Employed Division, where he provides executive leadership and direction in the design, development and delivery of Collection programs and policy in support of comprehensive tax administration programs and taxpayer compliance.
Prior to this assignment, Paul was a member of the IRS Senior Executive Team and served as the Director, Online Services, where he managed large-scale agency digital transformation efforts. He coordinated several digital transformational efforts for individual taxpayers such as IRS Direct Pay (allows taxpayers to pay their tax obligations online), Online Account (allows taxpayers to see and pay their balance due), and the IRS Online Payment Agreement (enables taxpayers to enter into a payment agreement with the IRS). He also led the IRS to begin communicating digitally with taxpayers by launching several Secure Messaging and text chat pilots with various groups of taxpayers to drive taxpayer interactions from paper to secure electronic communications. Paul’s other notable digital achievements include a newly organized www.irs.gov, which showcases a more streamlined website with a robust search function.
Douglas is Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service’s Large Business and International (LB&I) Division headquartered in Washington, D.C. In this role, he is the United States Competent Authority and oversees tax administration activities for domestic and foreign businesses and partnerships with a United States tax reporting requirement and assets equal to or exceeding $10 million as well as the Global High Wealth and International Individual Compliance programs.
Prior to his current executive appointment, Mr. O’Donnell served as the Deputy Commissioner (International) in LB&I. In this role he was responsible for planning, developing, directing, and implementing a comprehensive servicewide tax administration program that enhances compliance with international tax laws, ensures consistency in taxpayer treatment, continuously improves systems and processes and effectively allocates resources to meet servicewide international tax administration priorities.
Mr. O’Donnell previously served in other executive positions including the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, International; Director, Competent Authority & International Coordination; Director of International Compliance, Strategy & Policy; Deputy Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance; and the Director of Field Operations, Heavy Manufacturing and Transportation Industry.
Mr. O’Donnell began his career with IRS in 1986 as a revenue agent in Washington, D.C. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Maryland.
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