updated 6:36 PM CET, Mar 18, 2023

Chuck Rettig and Nina Olson to consider 'The Future of IRS Funding' in free webinar

Charles Rettig, whose four years as commissioner of the IRS quietly came to an end on Nov. 12, will join former National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson next Wednesday (Feb. 1) in a Zoom webinar discussion about "The Future of IRS Funding."

The event, which is the latest in Tax Analysts' regular series of "Taxing Issues" webinars, will take place between 2pm and 3pm Eastern Standard Time (7pm and 8pm GMT), and will also feature also feature Michael Desmond, a former IRS chief counsel and now a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

The event will be moderated, as all of the Taxing Issues webinars normally are, by Tax Analysts president and chief executive Cara Griffith.

Tax Analysts is a non-profit, Falls Church, Virginia-based publisher of the Tax Notes news website and other publications having to do with U.S. tax issues.

According to Tax Analsts, the focus of the "Future of IRS Funding" webinar will be on the "the implications of the US$80 billion increase in the IRS’s long-term budget," as provided for under last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. During their hour-long discussion, the panelists are expected to "explore how the IRS will use the [additional] funding to address some of the problems that taxpayers have faced in the last few filing seasons," Tax Analysts said.

Among the questions the panelists are expected to consider will be whether the additional agents the IRS is planning to hire will result in an increase in the auditing of complex tax returns; and if so, whether such increased audits could end up "affect[ing] the general public more than policymakers might have intended.

The extent to which the additional funding is likely to go towards improving the IRS's taxpayer services – which have been the focus of some heavy criticism recently –  is also expected to be debated.

More information on the Taxing Issues webinar and details about signing up to participate may be found on the Tax Analysts' website by clicking here.

Last year, Tax Analysts' Griffith interviewed then-IRS Commissioner Rettig in a webinar that was also made available for free to interested viewers. 

Although Olson spent some 18 years in Washington as the National Taxpayer Advocate – a role that involves speaking out on behalf of U.S. taxpayers in reports directed towards Congress and the IRS – she overlapped only briefly at the IRS with Rettig, who was appointed by Donald Trump in 2018, the year before she departed. Today she's executive director of an organization called the Center for Taxpayer Rights, while maintaining a private legal practice that sees her representing taxpayers in disputes with the IRS.

Founded more than 50 years ago

Tax Analysts was founded in 1970, it says on its website today, to “foster an open and informed discussion about taxes.”

It began publishing a federal tax magazine in 1972, adding state and international tax publications some years later, followed eventually by online coverage of state, federal and international tax matters, including its flagship Tax Notes title.

According to a corporate history on its website, it “first sued the IRS in 1972,” which it did “to gain public access to private letter rulings (PLRs) and technical advice memoranda (TAMs) – crucial documents through which the IRS provided legal advice to specific taxpayers and IRS field agents."

Today Tax Analysts has a global audience and employs almost 200 people, including more than 250 correspondents located in more than 125 countries. The company says its readership today includes more than 150,000 tax professionals in law and accounting firms, corporations, government agencies, and academic institutions located around the world.