President Trump has nominated David Kautter, partner-in-charge of the Washington National Tax practice of RSM US, as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy.

Kautter was previously managing director of the Kogod Tax Center and executive-in-residence at the Kogod School of Business at American University. Before working for the university, he spent over 30 years at Ernst and Young, serving as director of national tax for more than 13 years.

“I want to thank Dave Kautter for his outstanding service to our firm and our clients as partner-in-charge of RSM’s Washington National Tax practice,” said RSM US managing partner and CEO Joe Adams. “While we will miss him at RSM, we are proud that he has chosen to serve his country. With the potential for significant tax reform on the horizon, Dave’s deep knowledge, experience and commitment can benefit our country, its businesses and its citizens for years to come.”

Two of Kautter’s colleagues at EY are former Assistant Secretaries of Tax Policy at the Treasury Department, and they issued statements of support last week. “Dave Kautter brings a number of important attributes to the job of Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy,” said Michael Mundaca, co-director of National Tax and Co-Director of the Americas Tax Center for EY. “He has the people skills to interact successfully with the various stakeholders in the tax reform process, including working with others at Treasury, the White House, Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, and the public. He also has the intelligence, good judgment and legislative experience to deal with important policy issues. I’ve known Dave for more than 15 years and worked for him when I started my career at EY: he will be a great mentor to the Treasury Tax Policy team, a great colleague to the other senior leaders at Treasury, and great advocate for the Administration's tax policies.”

Treasury Department building
Treasury Department building
David Kautter of RSM, nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy
David Kautter of RSM, nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy

“With tax reform at the forefront of tax policy today, it is important to confirm an assistant secretary to lead the office during this important time,” said Eric Solomon, the other co-director of National Tax and Co-Director of the Americas Tax Center for EY. “This is crucial not just for tax reform, but for all of the other issues the Office of Tax Policy works on, including the regulatory guidance process, as well as international tax policy issues such as the U.S. relationship with the OECD and individual foreign countries whose tax policy actions will have an increasingly important effect on the United States and U.S. companies.”

In addition to his work at accounting firms, Kautter also worked on Capitol Hill as Tax Legislative Counsel for former Senator John C. Danforth, R-Missouri. If confirmed as Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, he would replace Mark Mazur, a holdover from the Obama administration, at a time when Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the Trump administration are planning to introduce far-reaching tax reform legislation this year.

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.