IRS Chief Counsel Tells Students About Working at His Dream Job

Published: October 9th, 2006

Category: Feature, News

As a tax lawyer, Donald Korb says, it just doesn’t get any better than being chief counsel for the Internal Revenue Service.

When Korb’s wife was asked by a Wall Street Journal reporter how her husband liked his job, she replied: “It’s like he’s 10 years old again and every day’s his birthday.”

“And that’s really the way I feel,” Korb told a packed audience of students in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom on Oct. 5 in the first lecture of the Graduate Tax Enrichment Series. “I’m just so lucky to be here at this point in time.”

Students watched a brief video to give them a sense of what the IRS does, and afterwards Korb discussed his long and interesting career in the hopes of getting the students to think about where they want to go after graduation.

“Tax practitioners really are the first line of defense for the IRS,” said Korb, who became chief counsel in April 2004. “We need to understand that. People got away from that way of thinking in the last 5 or 10 years, and that’s one of the reasons we have the problems we have with these tax shelters.”

This is Korb’s third tour with the IRS. In the 1970s, he worked as an attorney/adviser in the chief counsel’s office, then rejoined the IRS for two years in the mid-1980s as a special assistant to then-Commissioner Roscoe Egger, serving as the overal coordinator of the IRS’ involvement in the legislative process that resulted in the Tax Reform Act of 1986.