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Everson To Step Down As IRS Chief

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

20 April 2007

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark W. Everson is to step down from his post next month to become the next president and CEO of the Red Cross.

The American Red Cross announced on Wednesday that its Board of Governors had unanimously approved Everson's appointment. He will take up his new post on May 29, 2007.

Everson has served as the 46th Commissioner of the IRS since May 5, 2003. During this time, he is credited with boosting enforcement through an increase in audit rates on business and individual taxpayers. He also worked with Congress to shut down abusive tax shelters, and developed and implemented a five-year strategic plan for the $10 billion, 100,000 person agency.

Prior to becoming IRS Commissioner, Everson served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, where he chaired the President’s Management Council and was charged with strengthening and improving federal management and program performance. In the private sector, Everson was Group Vice President – Finance for SC International, a $2 billion privately-owned food services company.

Commenting on his departure, Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member and recent former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, praised Everson for his efforts in reforming the tax-exempt community and for his leadership qualities.

"He understands that tax exemption is a privilege for which recipients have to be held accountable. His help in identifying the biggest abusive tax practices in the non-profit community has helped the Finance Committee shut down many of those abuses. He’ll be good at holding the Red Cross accountable for its tax exemption," he stated.

"His sense of accountability, his energy, and his respect for institutions while being reform-minded are all attributes the Red Cross needs. Mark Everson is a good choice. The Red Cross board has done well with his selection," he added.

Everson also earned praise from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who described the position of IRS chief as "one of the toughest jobs in the country".

"In those four years Commissioner Everson has taken up the challenge of both increasing enforcement activities to deal with those who don't pay their fair share of taxes, while, at the same time, significantly improving the services and outreach activities the IRS provides to taxpayers," Paulson observed.

According to the Wall Street Journal, likely candidates to fill Everson's shoes at the IRS include Kevin Brown, the agency's deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, and Mark E. Matthews, who served as the agency's deputy commissioner for services and enforcement from 2003 to 2006 and is now a lawyer with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Washington.

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