The Joint Committee's Legislation Counsels, Refund Counsels, and Tax Legislation Accountants are involved in every aspect of the tax legislative process and thus are uniquely positioned to influence federal tax policy. As highly skilled, nonpartisan legal professionals, they work closely with the staffs of the House and Senate tax-writing committees to design and implement legislative solutions to some of the nation's most important issues, as tax policy affects the distribution and overall size of the tax burden, the pace and nature of investment and economic growth, and even how the American health care system functions.
The Committee's work often includes, among other things, serving as an important resource to members of Congress, their staffs and the general public on present law and policy alternatives, drafting background pamphlets for congressional hearings, meeting with executive branch officials responsible for implementing changes in the tax laws, and assisting with and conducting investigations. Our legal professionals also draft detailed mark-up documents, which are used as the basis for consideration of tax bills by the House and Senate tax-writing committees, and provide crucial assistance to Members and their staffs during committee mark-ups. In addition, Joint Committee lawyers and accountants work closely with Joint Committee economists in analyzing the possible behavioral and tax revenue implications of proposed changes in the federal tax laws. Joint Committee attorneys and accountants also serve as the principal drafters of all committee reports for tax legislation passed by the House or Senate tax-writing committees or by a House-Senate conference committee, and frequently draft technical explanations of committee-passed or congressionally enacted bills for which no formal committee report has been produced. Legal and tax practitioners, taxpayers, courts of law, and executive branch officials frequently rely heavily on our work product in determining how best to interpret the nation's tax laws. Our professionals also participate in conferences and occasionally author papers furthering the Committee’s involvement and expertise in the field of tax law.
The Committee is also tasked with reviewing large refund and deficiency cases once preliminary settlements have been reached between the IRS and taxpayers. The Committee employs a dedicated team of refund attorneys that work with the IRS and other Joint Committee topic experts to provide analysis of these decisions. Review of these cases enables staff to identify issues in statutory language or published regulations which can inform later legislative work of the Committee.
The Committee generally hires attorneys and accountants with a strong academic record. Attorneys generally have four or more years of federal tax experience either with a private law or accounting firm or in a federal government tax position; accountants generally have seven or more years of federal tax experience at similar employers. Many of our professionals have significantly more experience when they join the staff. Our recent hires include partners and mid- to senior-level associates from major law and accounting firms, experienced attorneys from the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, and in-house tax professionals from major U.S. companies.