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IRS Commissioner Koskinen Receives Inaugural "Mortimer M. Caplin Award for Distinguished Public Service"

November 3, 2017

The American Coalition for Taxpayer Rights (ACTR) named IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen (pictured below) recipient of the inaugural Mortimer M. Caplin Award for Distinguished Public Service.  “We could not be more pleased that the Award’s first recipient is Commissioner Koskinen,” said Beth Shapiro Kaufman, President of Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, “and the Firm is proud to have this Award named in honor of our Founding Member, former IRS Commissioner Mortimer Caplin (pictured here) who served during President Kennedy’s administration.”  In a 2016 Washington Post article honoring Mr. Caplin’s 100th birthday, Commissioner Koskinen remarked “He is a legend at the IRS.” “You mention Mort Caplin and even the youngest employees know who he is.”  ACTR will make a contribution to the University of Virginia School of Law scholarship named after Commissioner Caplin each time that the Award is made.

Like Commissioner Caplin before him, Commission Koskinen worked to ensure that the Internal Revenue Service maintains an appropriate balance between taxpayer service and tax enforcement, and that the tax code be administered with fairness and integrity.  Managing an agency of about 83,000 employees and a budget of approximately $11.2 billion, Commissioner Koskinen addressed several challenges, including convening the IRS ‘Security Summit’ to combat stolen identity refund fraud, which was greatly reduced during Commissioner Koskinen’s tenure.

About Commissioner Caplin and the Award
The Mortimer M. Caplin Award for Distinguished Public Service will be awarded periodically by the members of ACTR to a public official who has made a unique contribution to the United States’ tax system and distinguished himself or herself through a career in public service.

Mr. Caplin served on President John F. Kennedy’s Task Force on Taxation after his election in November 1960.  In January 1961, President Kennedy appointed Mr. Caplin to serve as the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. He served as IRS Commissioner until July 1964, after which he founded the law firm Caplin & Drysdale, where today – at the age of 101 – Commissioner Caplin continues to maintain an office.

Mr. Caplin’s commitment to public service and the law began shortly after he graduated first in his class at the University of Virginia School of Law.  He served as a law clerk to Judge Armistead Dobie of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  During the invasion of Normandy, Mr. Caplin served as Navy Beachmaster and was a member of the initial landing force at Omaha Beach.  He was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his actions.

About the American Coalition for Taxpayer Rights
ACTR is a 13-member trade association comprised of the nation’s largest retail and do-it-yourself tax preparation companies and the financial institutions that offer tax-time financial products. 

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About Caplin & Drysdale
Having celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2014, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

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