Internal Revenue Service

Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (National Tax Payer Advocate Program)

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  • Full Time
  • $147,649 - $221,000/year
  • Washington, DC
March 18, 2024 Attorney Tax Law

Job Description

Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, seeks enthusiastic individuals to serve 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 IRS. Please click "Learn more about this agency" to find out more about Chief Counsel's various offices, to view some of the workplace attributes that Chief Counsel's workforce rates most favorably, and to hear from employees themselves.

  • $147,649 - $221,000/year
Conditions of Employment
  • Refer to "Additional Information"
  • Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National

To qualify for this position of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (National Taxpayer Advocate Program) you must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess at least the first professional law degree (LL.B. or J.D.) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association; AND
  • Applicants must be an active member in good standing of the bar of a State, U.S. Commonwealth, U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
  • Desired Education/Experience: An LL.M. in Taxation is desired but not required. 7 years of professional legal tax experience is desired.

As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications. Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level or its equivalent in Federal service. Applicants must possess the following technical and executive core qualifications.

You must submit a separate narrative statement that addresses each of the Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs) related to this position as well as the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) related to all positions in the Senior Executive Service.

Your narrative statements should include examples of experience, education, and accomplishments applicable to the qualification. Structure your statements in terms of the action taken, the context or environment in which the action was taken, and the outcome or results from such actions. You should write each statement with the vacancy in mind as all qualifications are directly related to the position being filled.If you do not submit a separate statement addressing the ECQs and MTQs, you will not receive consideration for the position.

A) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs):

Unless you are currently serving under a Career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, or eligible for reinstatement into the SES, you must address the ECQs. Applicants must provide a narrative statement (not to exceed a total of 10 pages) that clearly documents and demonstrates possession of the competencies in the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) as established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The following five ECQs provide the focus for certification of executive core qualifications for initial career appointment to the Senior Executive Service.

  1. Leading Change - Ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
  2. Leading People - Ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.
  3. Results Driven - Ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
  4. Business Acumen - Ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
  5. Building Coalitions - Ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.
Additional information on ECQs is available at: . Applicants are strongly encouraged to follow the Challenge, Context, Action and Results model outlined in the guide. It is recommended that you draft your ECQs in a Word document and then upload into the system.

B) Mandatory Technical Competencies (MTQs):

In addition to the Executive Core Qualifications, all candidates must show evidence of the following mandatory technical competencies in order to meet basic qualifications for this position. The narrative statements should demonstrate your specialized knowledge and technical competence. Please give concrete examples of your experience and demonstrate the complexity of the knowledge and skills you possess. You should address each MTQ separately, with the total narrative not exceeding ten pages.


In addition to the general managerial competencies set out in the Executive Core Qualifications, the following mandatory technical qualifications are specific competencies required to qualify for the position:

  1. Position requires a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Federal tax statutes and regulations and IRS tax policies, including detailed knowledge of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the Taxpayer First Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
  2. Must have demonstrated the ability to manage a legal services program, including the ability to review and assess the organizational effectiveness of program services and policies, and to design and implement procedures to improve/optimize organizational performance.
  3. Must have demonstrated the ability to make and effect timely and well-considered decisions, and to resolve issues/problems of substantial impact, sensitivity, and complexity.
  4. Must have demonstrated the ability to supervise others to promote maximum utilization and development of staff and to support equal employment opportunity initiative and goals.
  1. General understanding of the operations and organization of the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Chief Counsel.
  2. Knowledge of the legislation and regulations process with the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service.

(Note: Failure to address these factors will result in your application being disqualified.) Narrative responses to the Technical Qualifications and Desirable Qualifications should not be more than two pages for each. Please provide the Executive Core Qualifications, Technical Qualifications and Desirable Qualifications each on separate sheets of paper.

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.


The Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (National Taxpayer Advocate Program) serves as the executive for the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) organizational component of the Office of Chief Counsel. As such, the incumbent 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 (IRC) section 7803(c)). The incumbent is responsible for the coordination of all legal services provided to the NTA and the NTA's headquarters employees, and for reviewing, elevating, and coordinating, if requested by TAS, legal advice provided by field Chief Counsel offices to field TAS offices. The Office of the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (National Taxpayer Advocate Program) is also responsible for consulting with and advising the NTA about the issuance of Counsel guidance, legislative proposals, regulations, and other advice, that impacts areas of interest to the NTA and for assisting with the review of any legal matters included in either of the NTA's reports to Congress required by section 7803(c). As the Office's recognized expert on all issues involving TAS and taxpayer rights, the incumbent serves as the chief legal advisor to the Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations), the NTA and TAS, and other Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials on issues involving the development, interpretation and application of Internal Revenue Code sections 7803(a)(3), Execution of duties in accordance with taxpayer rights, 7803(c), Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, 7811, Taxpayer Assistance Orders, and 7526, Low-income Taxpayer Clinics, related off-Code provisions, and any future related Code or off-Code provisions. The incumbent is responsible for directing the development of legislation, regulations, rulings and advisory opinions on these areas, as well as the coordination of litigation matters, when appropriate. The Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (National Taxpayer Advocate Program) supervises a staff of GS-15 attorneys and support personnel engaged in providing legal guidance and assistance on these matters. As delegated, the incumbent represents the Office/Chief Counsel on policy and program matters involving other Counsel and IRS organizations, the Department of Treasury, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the General Counsel, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

As a Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (National Taxpayer Advocate Program), major duties include:

  • Serves as Chief Counsel's principal representative in coordinating the delivery of legal services to the NTA and the NTA's headquarters employees. Monitors activities of Counsel's field and National Office functions to ensure services are timely, of high quality, and responsive to the needs of the NTA and the NTA's headquarters staff, and/or TAS field personnel, as appropriate. Works with Counsel staff, as needed, on a case, or office basis to improve service. Alerts the Chief Counsel to any systemic organizational impediments and makes recommendations for effecting program improvements.
  • Serves as a central point of contact for all questions/issues relating to Counsel's role in providing legal support to the NTA and TAS. Directs request for assistance, and provides liaison support, when needed, to facilitate the process of the NTA's requests for legal advice from the National Office. Reviews, elevates, and coordinates legal advice issued to local TAS offices from field Counsel offices if so requested by TAS. Serves as link with Counsel staff to advise of any concern expressed by the NTA. Where possible, works with the NTA and/or Counsel staff to address controversial, or problematic program issues.
  • Coordinates the IRS's position in litigation with the Associate and Division Counsels, the IRS, and DOJ in areas within the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel's jurisdiction. Reviews for legal accuracy and makes recommendations to the NTA and TAS regarding administrative resolution of Taxpayer Assistance Orders and Taxpayer Advocate Directives and prepares other documents setting out TAS's independent position in such cases.
  • Coordinates the resolution of cases and other matters where the subject matter is within the jurisdiction of the Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel's office. Works with the IRS, Division Commissioners, Associate and Division Counsels, the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate including the NTA, and other components of the IRS as applicable.
  • Advises DOJ as to the facts and legal positions of the IRS in matters within jurisdiction; prepares recommendations concerning defense, settlement, appeal, or certiorari of cases involving TAS; and coordinates other matters with DOJ as required.
  • Processes or coordinates, as appropriate, petitions and complaints, briefs, actions on decision, and other matters.

Education 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: Other Information

  • Yes - You may qualify for reimbursement of relocation expenses in accordance with agency policy.
  • This is aNon-Bargainingunit position.
  • We offer opportunities for telework.
  • We offer opportunities for flexible work schedules.
  • The salary range indicated in this announcement covers multiple locality areas.
Conditions of Employment Continued:
  • Subject to a 1-year trial period (unless already completed).
  • Subject to a 1-year supervisory probationary period (unless already completed).
  • 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.
  • Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9. Federal law requires verification of the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S.
  • Public Trust (85PS) Background Investigation required
  • Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.
  • File a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report OGE-278e 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.
  • This position requires that the successful candidate undergo personnel vetting, which includes a background investigation and enrollment upon onboarding into "Continuous Vetting." Enrollment in Continuous Vetting will result in automated record checks being conducted throughout one's employment with Treasury. The successful candidate will also be enrolled into FBI's Rap Back service, which will allow Treasury to receive notification from the FBI of criminal matters (e.g., arrests, charges, convictions) involving enrolled individuals in near real-time.

    There are three key documents that contain important information about your rights and obligations. Please read and retain these documents:
  • Noncriminal Justice Applicant's Privacy Rights, for those who undergo an FBI fingerprint-based criminal history record check for personnel vetting, which includes Rap Back,
  • FD-258 Privacy Act Statement - FBI (this is the same statement used when your fingerprints are submitted as part of your background investigation), and
  • SEAD-3-Reporting-U.pdf (, (applicable to those who hold a sensitive position or have eligibility for access to classified information)"

Required Documents

A complete application includes 1. A resume, 2. Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), 3. Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs), 4. Vacancy Question Responses, and 5. 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).

1. RESUME: All applicants are required to submit a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one of their own choosing. (Cover letters are optional.) To receive full credit for relevant experience, please list the month/year and number of hours worked for experience listed on your resume. 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. Resume should clearly state your experience related to this position as described in the Duties section and Qualifications section.

2. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQs)- A separate narrative statement of 10-pages or less that addresses each of the five ECQs separately as described above.

3. MANDATORY TECHINCAL QUALIFICATION (MTQs) - A separate narrative statement of 10-pages or less that addresses each of the MTQs separately as described above.

4. VACANCY QUESTION RESPONSES: Responses are automatically submitted through USA Jobs when you apply to this vacancy

5. ADDITIONAL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: In addition, applicants are required to submit the following supporting documentation:

  • Memorandum of Interest summarizing your interest in the position.
  • CHIEF COUNSEL EMPLOYEES ONLY: A Supervisory Report (ERB Form 1-88, 4/11) 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.
SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE (SES) NONCOMPETITIVE APPLICANTS: If you are currently serving under a career SES appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program approved by OPM, proof of SES noncompetitive eligibility must be submitted:
  • SF-50 showing your status as a current Career SES appointee, former Career SES appointee with career SES reinstatement eligibility, or current or reinstatement eligible Career SES-equivalent executive who is/was employed in a Federal government agency that has an interchange agreement with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) allowing for movement between the agency's SES-equivalent personnel system and the SES; OR
  • A certificate of completion from an OPM-approved SES Candidate Development Program (CDP). This applies only if your ECQs have been approved by an OPM Qualifications Review Board through the SES CDP.
  • Note: Former Career Reserve Senior Executive Service employees and graduates of a SES Candidate Development Program who have been certified by OPM's QRB are not required to address the ECQs
EDUCATION DOCUMENTATION: For positions with an education requirement, submit a copy of your transcripts or equivalent. An official transcript will be required if you are selected and not already on file. See "Education" for more details.

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: If selected, you will be required to submit an original Certificate of Good Standing from your State Bar if not already received by the agency.

How to Apply

The following instructions outline our application process. You must complete this application process and submit any required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on 04/018/2024 and/or cut-off dates in this announcement. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. ET, Monday - Friday). To preview the Application Questionnaire, please click the following link:

  • To begin, click Apply to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application.
  • Follow the prompts to select your resume and/or other supporting documents to be included with your application package. You will have the opportunity to upload additional documents to include in your application before it is submitted. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
  • After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the Include Personal Information section as you deem appropriate and click to continue with the application process.
  • You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify the required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
  • It is your responsibility to verify that your application package (resume, supporting documents, and responses to the questionnaire) is complete, accurate, and submitted by the closing date. Uploaded documents may take up to one hour to clear the virus scan.
  • Additional information on how to complete the online application process and submit your online application may be found on the USA Staffing Applicant Resource Center.


A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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