Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson will leave the agency to become president and chief executive of the American Red Cross next month.Everson, 52, has served as IRS commissioner since May 2003. During his time with the agency, he has publicly focused his attention on efforts to better serve taxpayers, continue the agency’s modernization of its systems and enhance its enforcement activities. In recent months, Everson has heard increased clamoring from Congress over how the agency and the Treasury Department should best work to address the nation’s growing tax gap -- estimated at $345 billion for the 2001 tax year.

“I look back over the last four years with great pride and satisfaction,” said Everson in an email to employees announcing his plans to leave. “Together, we have rebalanced the organization, bringing to life the equation: Service + Enforcement = Compliance.”

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