The Senate has unanimously confirmed David J. Kautter as the new Treasury assistant secretary for tax policy. His confirmation comes at a critical time for the Treasury Department, which is leading the administration's tax reform efforts and responsible for delivering recommendations on controversial regulations next month.

In July, Treasury identified eight regulations issued in 2016 that either impose an undue burden on taxpayers or add undue complexity to tax laws. Executive Order 13789 requires Treasury to submit recommendations to mitigate the burden by Sept. 18 (See our Tax Flash for more information).

Many taxpayers are hoping Kautter's confirmation will also resuscitate other guidance projects that were on hold and could not be completed without a Senate-confirmed leader of the tax policy function at Treasury. But the guidance process will have to compete with tax reform for resources. Tax reform has emerged as the top legislative priority for Republicans, and Treasury will be critical in helping drive the Administration's efforts.

Kautter has been a familiar face in tax policy circles for decades, having served as a Congressional aide, the leader of two national tax practices at large, public accounting firms and as an academic.

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