Ex-IRS Chief Miller Joins Alliantgroup

Steven Miller, the former acting commissioner of the IRS who resigned from his post last year after the agency admitted it had improperly scrutinized the federal tax-exempt status of certain conservative groups, has landed at Houston-based alliantgroup as the specialty tax service provider’s national director of tax.

“Steve is widely recognized across Washington as one of the premier figures in tax and is hugely respected in the tax community,” Dean Zerbe, national managing director of alliantgroup and former senior counsel and tax counsel for Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), said in a written statement. “We are extremely fortunate to have him joining our team at alliantgroup, but the real winners are all of the small and medium businesses with whom we work that will now benefit from Steve's knowledge and insight.”

In his new role, Miller, who had a twenty-five-year career at the IRS, will lead the company’s national office in Washington, DC, where he will cultivate alliantgroup’s Tax Controversy Services practice. As practice leader, Miller will assist taxpayers on federal, state, and international tax matters, alliantgroup stated.

Miller joins another former IRS commissioner at alliantgroup, Mark Everson, who is the company’s vice chairman. Everson led the IRS from 2003 to 2007.

“I look forward to helping American businesses comply with the tax code and successfully navigate their relationships with tax agencies,” Miller said in a written statement on January 9.

Miller was appointed acting IRS chief in November 2012 after Douglas Shulman announced he would not seek a second four-year term as the agency’s commissioner.

Miller was at the helm of the IRS when the agency apologized on May 10, 2013, for what it called “inappropriate” targeting of groups during the 2012 election that had conservative titles, such as “Tea Party” or “patriot,” in their names to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

A report released on May 14 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found inappropriate criteria that was developed and implemented by the IRS Determinations Unit in Cincinnati remained in place for more than eighteen months, in part, due to insufficient oversight provided by management. This resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications for tax-exempt status and allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued, TIGTA claimed.

The Determinations Unit, part of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, is responsible for reviewing applications as they're received to determine whether an organization qualifies for tax-exempt status.

Miller resigned as acting IRS commissioner on May 15, 2013, and Lois Lerner, head of the Exempt Organizations division who was at the center of the controversy, announced her retirement on September 24.

Daniel Werfel, controller of the US Office of Management and Budget, was appointed acting IRS commissioner by President Obama on May 16. Werfel served the IRS until John Koskinen was confirmed by the Senate on December 20 as the agency’s next commissioner.

Before holding the title of acting IRS commissioner, Miller served for several years as the deputy commissioner for Services and Enforcement, leading all IRS enforcement and service activity. He also led the IRS Large and Mid-Size Business division as commissioner, overseeing IRS audits of large taxpayers and IRS programs relating to offshore tax compliance and international tax-law enforcement. As commissioner of the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities division, Miller supervised the agency’s oversight of governments, tax-exempt entities, and retirement programs.

“Steve’s broad experience at the [IRS] – including oversight of critical initiatives like implementation of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to combat identity theft – can only help the CPAs and clients we work with across the country,” Everson said in a written statement.

Added alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav, “Bringing Steve Miller to the alliantgroup team to assist our clients and CPA partners takes our best-in-class tax team and puts them on a whole new level.”

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