IRS Tax News

20-year Exam veteran selected as new Office of Promoter Investigations acting director

IR-2021-88, April 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — As part of the continued focus on compliance issues, the Internal Revenue Service announced today the establishment of the IRS Office of Promoter Investigations. The new office will further expand on the efforts of the Promoter Investigations Coordinator that began last summer.

"By establishing the Office of Promoter Investigations, we are continuing our increased focus on promoters of abusive tax avoidance transactions, which we have demonstrated over the last year," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "This office will coordinate efforts across multiple business divisions to address abusive syndicated conservation easements and abusive micro-captive insurance arrangements, as well as other transactions."

Lois Deitrich, a 20-year veteran of the agency, will be the new office's acting director.

Even though OPI will be positioned within SB/SE, Deitrich will work on agency-wide compliance issues, including coordination of promoter activities with promoter teams in other business divisions, including Large Business & International, Tax Exempt/Government Entities, the Office of Fraud Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations.. She will serve as the principal advisor and consultant to IRS division commissioners and deputy commissioners on issues involving promoters of abusive transactions and the schemes they peddle. The OPI will also develop strategic plans, programs and policy.

Prior to the creation of OPI, the SB/SE division completed a realignment of field examination employees who work on promoter investigations. This realignment brought SB/SE revenue agents under a single director within the Field Exam Division, increasing the focus and attention they apply to investigations going forward. With additional training, resources and applied analytics, SB/SE will bring improved focus on identifying, investigating and taking necessary enforcement action to halt promotion of abusive transactions.

De Lon Harris, commissioner, SB/SE Exam, noted that the realignment of field employees will continue to strengthen the internal compliance efforts within SB/SE.

"These groups are exclusively dedicated to investigating those who peddle abusive tax schemes. Bringing these agents together, in combination with the creation of the service-wide Office of Promoter Investigations, will help strengthen our compliance work and is yet another opportunity to increase our capacity to conduct these investigations," said De Lon Harris, commissioner, SB/SE Exam. "Our promoter office will strategically focus resources to help expand detection and deterrence efforts of promoter work across the IRS."

Deitrich will take over the work the agency has been pursuing for the past year under Brendan O'Dell, who was selected as the Promoter Investigation Coordinator in early 2020.

Prior to this position, Deitrich served as the director of the southwest area of SB/SE's Field Examination, where she was responsible for overseeing SB/SE field operation for abusive transaction investigations. She brings extensive experience in the abusive transaction space and the Special Enforcement Program. Previously, she served as director of Exam Case Selection and Exam Quality and Technical Support.

Deitrich began her IRS career as a revenue agent in 2001. She holds a master's degree in Tax from the University of Denver and is a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner.

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