Special Counsel (National Taxpayer Advocate Program)

Washington, D.C
Nov 25, 2022
Nov 29, 2022
Program Manager
Full Time

The Special Counsel serves as legal staff official and confidential advisor to the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Program). The Office of the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (NTA Program) is responsible for managing, directing and providing legal advice for programs and services related to the mission of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, known as the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) (see Internal Revenue Code section 7803(c)). The Special Counsel assists the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel in providing optimal legal support to the NTA and TAS. The Special Counsel works for, and represents, the executive and is involved in some of the most important and sensitive issues and other matters handled by that executive. The Special Counsel assists the executive in the formulation of policies and programs for the operation of the Office and performs special assignments of a case specific or project nature. The Special Counsel represents the executive in the regulations and ruling review process and acts as a personal consultant on a variety of legal matters.

As an attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel, National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Program)
  • Coordinates and monitors activities of Counsel's field and National Office functions to ensure responses are timely, of high quality, and responsive to the needs of the NTA and TAS. Provides recommendations to the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel, as needed, to improve operations and affect better service.
  • Assists the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel in the review and prioritization of NTA requests requiring resolution at the National Office level. Identifies legal issues involved and responds directly or directs to appropriate Counsel offices for handling. Works with staff(s) as needed, to formulate/polish final product.
  • Serves as point of contact for questions/issues relating to Counsel's role in providing legal support to the NTA and TAS. Provides legal advice to assist IRS staff in formulating assistance requests. Directs requests for assistance, and provides administrative liaison, when needed, to facilitate the processing of TAS requests involving Counsel field offices.
  • Provides legal assistance to the NTA and the NTA's headquarters employees in the review and resolution of taxpayer questions and complaints involving taxpayer rights, complex legal matters, and/or issues of extreme sensitivity. Identifies legal constraints/implications of proposed solutions, recommending potential courses of action when appropriate. Provides legal assistance in the review of Taxpayer Assistance Orders, Taxpayer Advocate Directives, legislative proposals, and other items under consideration.
  • Performs exhaustive and detailed research on complicated legal problems and prepares recommendations as to the position to be taken by the Office of the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel.
  • Prepares position papers and briefing memorandum on substantive policy and procedural issues for the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel, and/or the Chief Counsel/Deputy Chief Counsel.
  • Coordinates the participation of the Office of Chief Counsel in the development of reports and studies involving the NTA Program for use by Treasury and/or Congress. When requested, reviews for legal accuracy and coordinates review within Counsel of portions of the NTA's semiannual reports to Congress and assists in the preparation and drafting of testimony for Congressional hearings, and prepares responses to requests from Congress and other legislative agencies (e.g., OMB, GAO, etc.). Assists the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel in the preparation of data needed by the NTA for inclusion in the NTA's semiannual reports.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • Must submit an annual OGE 450E Confidential Financial Disclosure Report.
  • A Public Trust Background Investigation required.


You must meet the following requirements by the closing date of this announcement:

To qualify for this position at the GS-15 grade level, you must have one year of specialized experience, equivalent in scope and effect to the GS-14 level. Specialized experience: At least 52 weeks of the legal tax experience which included assignments involving complex and difficult legal questions requiring extensive research, analysis, and evaluation. In addition, the following experience is required:1) Experience in substantive federal tax issues impacting taxpayer rights or federal tax practice and/or tax administration or procedural issues; 2) Experience in working with issues that impact low income taxpayers; and 3) Experience advocating for taxpayer rights or improving tax administration to resolve systemic tax issues.
  • The J.D. and/or the LL.M. must be from an ABA-accredited law school.
  • Candidates must be admitted to practice law before the highest court of a state or territory of the United States; the District of Columbia; or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Part-time work is considered on a prorated basis.

The experience may have been gained in the public, private sector, or Volunteer Service . One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. To ensure full credit for your work experience, please indicate dates of employment by month/year, and indicate number of hours worked per week, on your resume.

Education Substitution: An LL.M. degree in the field of the position (tax, GLS-related, or P&A- FOIA/Disclosure related field) may be substituted for the one year of the general legal experience listed above.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. To ensure full credit for your work experience, please indicate dates of employment by month/year, and indicate number of hours worked per week, on your resume.

Time in Grade Requirement for GS-14: Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must have 52 weeks of Federal service at the next lower grade or equivalent (GS-14).


For positions with an education requirement, or if you are qualifying for this position by substituting education or training for experience, submit a copy of your transcripts or equivalent. An official transcript will be required if you are selected.

A college or university degree generally must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools which meet these criteria, please refer to Department of Education Accreditation page .

FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html .

Additional information

  • We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
  • Relocation expenses are not authorized.
  • This is aNon Bargainingunit position.
  • We offer opportunities for telework.
  • We offer opportunities for flexible work schedules.
Conditions of Employment Continued:
  • Subject to a 1-year trial period (unless already completed).
  • Subject to a 1-year supervisory or managerial probationary period (unless already completed).
  • Must successfully complete a background investigation.
  • Complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment, at the time requested by the agency
  • If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.
  • File a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days of appointment and annually from then on.
  • Undergo an income tax verification.
  • The employment of any candidate, including a current employee or a new hire, selected for this position may be conditional upon classification and/or audit of federal tax returns. This audit may include up to 2 years of returns.

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