Moving Exempt Organizations Forward: IRS Fields a New EO Team


By Susan Kirsch

During a very long and harrowing “off-season,” the IRS has drafted, fielded and announced the Exempt Organization (EO) Division team.  The EO Division, under the direction of IRS Commissioner John Koskiner, works to maintain an appropriate balance between taxpayer service and tax administration, and administers the tax code with fairness and integrity.

The Exempt Organization Division will be led by the following individuals:

  • Sunita Lough, Commissioner of Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TE/GE), replacing retired Joseph Grant.
  • Donna Hansberry, Deputy Commissioner TE/GE, replacing Sunita Lough upon his promotion.
  • Tamera Ripperda, Director of Exempt Organizations Division, replacing Acting Director Ken Corbin, replacing Lois Lerner, who is now at the center of innumerable federal inquires and investigations.
  • Stephen Martin, Acting Director of EO Rulings and Agreements.
  • Mary Epps, Acting Director, Examinations, replacing Hanette Downing.

Stephen M. Clarke, who served as the Project Manager for the IRS Form 990 redesign and implementation project, recently announced his departure from the Internal Revenue Service and will be replaced by co-coordinators Garrett Gluth and Peter Holiat.

In addition to announcing a new “line-up,” the IRS will be realigning legal resources within its Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division, moving technical law specialists responsible for published guidance, certain private letter rulings and technical advice from TE/GE to the IRS Office of Chief Council.

Amidst this team restructuring, EO headquarters will be relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio, where determinations processing and compliance units are already located.  Remaining in D.C. will be EO Technical and EO Guidance functions.

Ms. Ripperda described “Moving EO Forward” as a period of exciting change and innovation.  The EO Division is looking to implement efficient processes and procedures that will significantly diminish the backlog of exemption applications without increasing risk.  The statistics are mind-boggling – an average of 60,000 new exemption applications are received annually.

The non-profit and practitioner community is cautiously optimistic that the new team will “Move Forward.”

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 This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax related matter.

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