IRS No. 2 Set to Retire

by Eliana Johnson

The second in command at the Internal Revenue Service, Beth Tucker, will retire at the end of September. 

Tucker, the Deputy Commissioner of Operations Support, is a 29-year IRS veteran and in her current position reports directly to the agency’s commissioner. She came under fire for her failure to act when she learned that the IRS had awarded hundreds of millions or dollars in contracts, fraudulently, to the information technology provider Strong Castle, Inc.

The House Oversight Committee’s report in the matter alleged that Strong Castle’s CEO procured the contracts as a result of his friendship with a top IRS official; both invoked their Fifth Amendment rights at the committee’s hearing on the matter. The report states, “Perhaps most alarming of all is the fact that IRS officials—including Deputy Commissioner Beth Tucker—repeatedly denied a problem existed and failed to take action when Chairman Issa first raised these concerns in a February 2013 letter.” Below is Tucker’s heated exchange with South Carolina representative Trey Gowdy at the panel’s June hearing: 

National Review Online reported in July that Tucker is one of a handful of senior IRS officials who, according to inspector general J. Russell George, “ran up extremely high travel expenses” on the taxpayer dole commuting to Washington, D.C., from outside the region (she lives in Texas). The agency has since changed its travel policy, putting an end to the practice of employees communiting to the capitol by plane. 

Beth has been an incredible leader and a tireless champion for the employees of this great organization,” acting administrator Danny Werfel wrote to IRS employees in an e-mail on Tuesday. ”She was an invaluable resource to me as I joined the organization earlier this summer, and I know she has been a friend and mentor to countless members of the IRS community.”

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