The Benefits Tax Counsel serves as the principal legal adviser to senior Department of the Treasury officials with regard to all tax-related aspects of employee benefits (qualified and nonqualified), compensation, and related issues, including legislation and the development and promulgation of regulations, rulings, and other administrative guidance.Learn more about this agency
1. Legislation: Identifies provisions of the Internal Revenue Code requiring reform, amendment, simplification, or expansion in order to implement the Administration’s benefits tax policies. Works with Congress in the drafting of benefits tax legislation and committee reports, analyzing and clarifying legal issues and explaining the Department’s views. Reviews legislative proposals referred to the Department for analysis. Prepares analyses, reports, testimony, and other information in support of the Department’s legislative agenda. Prepares Treasury analysis and recommendations on tax legislation, including development of proposals for consideration as part of the Administration’s Budget. Presents and promotes the Department’s positions with respect to such legislation in testimony before the Congress and in meetings with and speeches before interested general public and benefits tax practitioners.
2. Administrative Guidance: Identifies provisions of the Internal Revenue Code requiring administrative guidance. Maintains liaison with the Internal Revenue Service to clarify legal and policy issues and explain the Department’s policy positions. Initiates, reviews and revises administrative guidance projects, including regulations and revenue rulings, to ensure that they are of the highest quality, reflect sound tax policy, and are consistent with the Department’s policies. Provides legal analysis of benefits tax law and regulations, making recommendations for revisions to reflect the Department’s policies. Presents and promotes the Department’s administrative guidance projects to the Congress, stakeholders, general public, and tax practitioners.
3. Liaison: Meets with senior officials of the Treasury and other agencies, Congress, State and local governments, taxpayer and legal associations and interest groups, and interested taxpayers and tax practitioners to present and promote the Department’s views on benefits tax legislation, administrative guidance, and other tax policy matters. Works closely with Treasury’s Offices of the General Counsel, Legislative Affairs, and Public Affairs to develop, promote, and implement the Department’s benefits tax policies. Provides expert testimony, briefings, and information to the Congress, OMB, CBO, the White House, the IRS, and Departmental officials regarding the Office’s tax policies, legislative and administrative guidance projects, and the operation and administration of the Office.
4. Counsel: Reviews bills and other documents and materials received by the Secretary and the Office of Tax Policy relating to the taxation of employee benefits and requiring the attention of senior Treasury officials. Performs related advisory duties, engages in analytical studies, reports, and briefings, and provides related advice and counsel to senior Treasury officials.
5. Executive Direction: Manages the work of the Office of the Benefits Tax Counsel relating to the foregoing. Develops and implements specific legislative and administrative guidance projects relating to the foregoing. Researches, develops and implements operational and performance improvements to more effectively utilize the resources of the Office of Tax Policy.
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