Kautter will undertake his new role while also serving as
the assistant secretary of the Treasury for tax policy at the
He was appointed after the Republicans could not settle on
who would take over from Koskinen.
As IRS commissioner, Koskinen faced intense opposition from
the Republican Party. This went as far as an attempt to impeach
Koskinen in 2015. Eventually the impeachment effort was dropped
and Koskinen served the remainder of his term.
Before putting on two hats at the IRS, Kautter was a partner
at RSM US for two years and served as managing director of the
tax centre at the Kogod School of Business for four years. This
was after more than 35 years at EY and its predecessor Arthur
Young. Kautter has experience advising a senator on tax
affairs, securities and banking regulation.
However, Kautter’s appointment has not been
uncontroversial. During Kautter’s time as
EY’s national director, four professionals at the
Big 4 firm faced allegations of running an illegal tax shelter
scheme for around 200 clients. While four of the practitioners
were convicted in 2010, two of the sentences were overturned.
EY paid the IRS $123 million in a settlement. It should be
noted that Kautter was never charged, but his appointment could
raise concerns at a time of heightened scrutiny over
politicians and their affairs.
The US Treasury Department picked David Kautter to be acting
director until the next candidate for commissioner can be
nominated and face congressional scrutiny. The interim period
could last for 120 to 190 days before a new appointment is