Special Counsel to the Executive Counsel

Washington, D.C
Nov 20, 2020
Nov 27, 2020
Full Time


The Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, the largest tax law firm in the country, is looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our team and gain valuable experience in a legal environment. Our mission is to serve America's taxpayers fairly and with integrity by providing correct and impartial interpretation of the internal revenue laws and the highest quality legal advice and representation for the Internal Revenue Service. It's a great place to work and family-friendly atmosphere.

Learn more about this agency


This position is in the Office of Chief Counsel (Executive Counsel to the Chief Counsel). The Special Counsel serves as staff official and confidential advisor, to the Executive Counsel. The Special Counsel assists the Executive Counsel in a broad array of tax and management activities in connection with implementing major tax legislation, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and in implementing the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other related legislation or Administration health care priorities. The Special Counsel ensures coordinating Office of Chief Counsel involvement in all U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits and in formulating policies and programs for the operation of the Executive Counsel Office. The Special Counsel is involved with the IRS operating divisions as well as other federal agencies in identifying operational and legal issues related to TIGTA and GAO audits. The Special Counsel acts as a personal consultant to the Executive Counsel on a variety of legal, technical, operational, and litigation matters. The Special Counsel provides technical assistance in efforts to support the Associate Counsel Offices with timely implementation of guidance projects and program management related to major tax legislation. The Special Counsel provides technical assistance on various health care issues arising under the ACA and the Internal Revenue Code, including but not limited to issues related to the health care exchanges, the premium assistance tax credit, and the employer shared responsibility payment. The Special Counsel is involved with the IRS operating divisions as well as the Departments of the Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor, as well as other federal agencies in identifying and resolving operational and legal issues in the implementation of the ACA, successor legislation and related Administration health care priorities. The Special Counsel provides support to the Department of Justice in law suits they are defending, and assists in reviewing published guidance, communications documents, and training materials related to health care.

  • As directed by the Executive Counsel, considers legal cases or problems having broad ramifications and renders decisions thereon without review, except at the discretion of the incumbent or as otherwise specifically directed.
  • Acts as personal legal and technical consultant to the Executive Counsel on the most difficult, important and complex professional legal matters arising in the administration of major tax legislation, including, for example, the TCJA and the ACA, and the internal revenue laws.
  • Represents the IRS and the Treasury Department on sensitive, extremely complex, and controversial issues related to health care issues and activities, to other major tax legislation, and to TIGTA and GAO audits. Performs exhaustive and detailed research on complicated legal problems with broad ramifications and develops and prepares innovative recommendations as to the position to be taken by the Office.
  • Performs exhaustive and detailed research on complicated legal problems and prepares recommendations as to the position to be taken by the Executive Counsel's Office. Signs such recommendations for the Executive Counsel within his/her delegated scope of authority.
  • Formulates and coordinates goals and strategies for the effective and comprehensive strategic management of international issues through all phases of the health care administration process, the administration of major tax legislation and work related to TIGTA and GAO audits.
  • Provides continuing support to ensure that Executive Counsel operations and management activities for major tax legislation and coordination of TIGTA and GAO audits are consistent with full and effective implementation of all Chief Counsel objectives, policies, procedures, and programs, including the development and monitoring of strategies and programs.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - 5% or greater

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


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: Demonstrates a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Chief Counsel mission and organization, and the interrelationship of its programs/policies with those of the IRS, the General Counsel's Office, and Treasury; a broad knowledge of federal tax statutes, regulations, decisions, rulings, and precedents; and skills in providing litigation support and in effective decision-making, including management skills and the flexibility to identify and gather resources needed to solve problems of substantial impact, sensitive or controversial nature, and that are highly complex, and to enhance development of working partnerships among the Executive Counsel office and other functions in the IRS and Chief Counsel.
  • 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.
  • GS-15: You must have been at the GS-14 level for 52 weeks. (time-in-grade requirement)

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.


Applicants must possess a J.D. and have one year of general legal experience plus three years of professional legal tax experience. An LL.M. degree in the field of the position (tax) may be substituted for one year of general legal experience listed above.

Specialized experience may have been gained while employed in a professional legal position in the Federal, state, or local government, the private sector including law firms, or nongovernmental organizations.

Additional information

  • We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
  • This is a non-bargaining unit position.
  • We offer opportunities for telework.
  • We offer opportunities for flexible work schedules.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application includes your resume and responses to the online questions and required supporting documents. Please be sure that your resume includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position; failure to provide sufficient evidence in your resume will result in a "not qualified" determination. A cover letter or memorandum of interest is recommended.

Applicants will be considered based on their overall background as it relates to the position to be filled. All application materials and interviews, if conducted, will be used in the final evaluation and selection process.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the Executive Resources Branch will assess your overall specialized knowledge and experience as it relates to the position to be filled, compare it to the other applicants' knowledge and experience and determine the candidate best qualified for the position. The board may or may not conduct interviews. You will be notified of the outcome.

Your application will be rated and ranked among others, based on your responses to the online questions, regarding your experience, training, performance appraisals and awards relevant to the duties of this position. Your rating may be lowered, if your responses to the online questions are not supported by the experience described in your application.

Referral: If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application may be referred to a selecting official for consideration. You may be required to participate in a selection interview.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

All applicants must submit the following documents: 1) Memorandum of Interest summarizing your interest in the position. 2) Resume detailing your relevant qualifications and specialized knowledge and experience. 3) A copy of your most recent official performance appraisal, or a progress review. 4) A Supervisory Report (ERB Form 1-88, Rev 4/2011) regarding your suitability for the position as completed by your current or most recent supervisor. You are responsible for notifying your supervisor that this report must be received no later than five workdays after the closing date of this announcement.

A complete application includes (1) a resume, (2) vacancy question responses, and (3) submission of any required documents. Please note that if you do not provide all required information, as specified in this announcement, you may not be considered for this position (or may not receive the special consideration for which you may be eligible).

All applicants are required to submit a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one of their own choosing. We suggest that you preview the online questions, as you may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions. Please view resume tips .

Documentation Relating to Your Federal Employment

- Submit a copy of your SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, which shows your current (or most recent) grade and competitive service status. (The "position occupied" block on the SF-50 should show a "1" or "2" and your "tenure" block should show a "1" or "2".)

- Indicate on your application the highest permanent grade you have held. If this grade is different from your current grade, submit a copy of an additional SF-50 showing this grade.

- Submit a copy of your most recent, signed, completed annual performance appraisal which includes the final rating. If the performance appraisal is not dated within the last 12 months or if you have not received a performance appraisal, please explain why in your application.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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