By AccountingWEB Staff
On October 10, 2012, the IRS made the announcement that Douglas Shulman, who has led the agency since March 2008, will step down November 9.
During his four-year term, he made significant changes to some of the agency's infrastructure, such as updating many of its outdated computer systems. Shulman was also responsible for pushing through more rigorous training and higher standards for paid tax preparers.
Shulman took positive regulatory action against corporate tax dodgers and individual tax evaders hiding money offshore. In fact, following the Department of Justice's prosecution of the UBS case in Switzerland, Shulman's amnesty program persuaded more than 15,000 taxpayers to turn themselves in rather than risk criminal prosecution. As a result, the government has recovered more than $5 billion in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties.
"Thanks to his aggressive leadership, Swiss banks are no longer a place where people can park their money and cheat Uncle Sam", said Mark W. Everson, a former IRS commissioner.
In an April 2012 speech before the National Press Club, Shulman said that the key to running the IRS - a immense operation that collects $2.4 trillion in taxes each year - is "a relentless and myopic focus on priorities . . . not getting distracted by too many crises or incoming demands."
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner praised Shulman's efforts, saying Shulman "has helped make the nation's tax system more fair, efficient, and effective."
The IRS has made "remarkable progress in the last few years during a challenging period", Shulman said. "It has been an honor to serve the American people during this dynamic time."
Steven Miller, a deputy commissioner and a twenty-five-year IRS veteran, will serve as acting commissioner until a permanent successor is nominated by the president.