As published on: tax.thomsonreuters.com, Wednesday 7 June, 2023.
President Joe Biden has tapped Marjorie Rollinson as his nominee to fill the position of IRS chief counsel, which has been vacant since January 2021 upon Michael Desmond’s retirement.
Rollinson’s nomination was announced June 2 in a White House release. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first woman to hold the role, capping a “distinguished career in tax services,” as described by the Biden team. Most recently, Rollinson served as the deputy director of EY’s national tax department from early 2019 until her recent retirement. She climbed the ranks at the firm beginning in 1987, eventually becoming a partner and later the director of the international tax services national tax group.
She departed EY in 2013 for a stint at the IRS, where she accumulated experience in the Office of Chief Counsel as technical deputy associate chief counsel. In 2016, Rollinson became the associate chief counsel international. “In this role, Rollinson oversaw on office of 100 tax lawyers who were responsible for issuing published guidance and providing the Internal Revenue Service with technical expertise on all matters pertaining to international tax rules,” read the release.
Rollinson obtained her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and her B.A. from Wellesley College.
“I’m pleased the president has put forward a nominee for IRS chief counsel,” Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said in a statement June 5. “This is a challenging job leading the legal team at an agency faced with a lot of demands and a lot of pressure from Congress. I look forward to processing Ms. Rollinson’s nomination after the Finance Committee receives all the necessary paperwork, and my hope is the committee will be able to move quickly.”
As the IRS’ lead lawyer, Rollinson would head the chief legal advisor to the IRS commissioner on matters relating to the interpretation, administration, and enforcement of tax law. The Office also provides legal advice and guidance to the IRS, the Treasury Department, and the public.
According to the 2022 IRS Data Book, Chief Counsel received over 65,500 cases and closed nearly 60,000 cases in fiscal year 2022, 65% of which were from the Small Business/Self Employed Division. Most casework (roughly 85%) involves Tax Court and Appellate Court litigation, collection, bankruptcy, and criminal tax matters.