Photo of Charles  Rettig

Charles Rettig



New York University School of Law, LL.M. in Taxation

Pepperdine University, J.D. with honors

University of California at Los Angeles, B.A. in Economics


Alexander Hamilton Award, U.S. Treasury

Tax "Lawyer of the Year" (Litigation and Controversy, Los Angeles) by Best Lawyers, 2016, 2017 and 2018

Jules Ritholz Memorial Merit Award, ABA Tax Section, Civil & Criminal Tax Penalties Committee

Partner Appreciation Award, Steller Member, ABA Center for Professional Development, 2015

IRS District Director’s Award, Los Angeles District, 1998

UCLA Extension Award for Extraordinary Efforts Enhancing Government and Private Tax Practitioner Partnership’s in the Tax Community for Continuing Education and Professional Development, 2005

Tax Person of the Year (Top 10), Tax Notes / Tax Analysts, 2009

Top 50 IRS Representation Practitioners for 2008, CPA Magazine, 2008

Presidents Award for Outstanding Contributions to CPA’s in Hawai’i, Hawai’i Society of CPA’s, 2003 - 2004

Joanne M. Garvey Award for lifetime Achievement in Taxation, Taxation Section, State Bar of California, 2021

V. Judson Klein Award for Outstanding Achievement in Taxation, Taxation Section, State Bar of California, 2003

Conference Speaker of the Year Award, California CPA Education Foundation, 2000

Instructor of the Year Award, Graduate Tax Program, Golden Gate University, 2002

Commencement Speaker, Graduate Tax Program, Golden Gate University, 2003

Top 100 Super Lawyers (Los Angeles County), Los Angeles Magazine / Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2005 and 2019

Top Tax Super Lawyers (Los Angeles County), Los Angeles Magazine / Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2004-2019, inclusive

Best Lawyers in America, 2004-2018

Certified Specialist, Taxation Law, The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization

Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating (Highest possible rating)

Bar Admissions



Arizona (Inactive)


Charles “Chuck” Rettig, a Shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka in the Firm's Tax Controversy & Litigation practice and other Tax and Trust & Estate practices, served as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from 2018 through 2022.

As a member of Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s Tax Controversy & Litigation Practice, he draws on both his extensive background representing taxpayers and his deep knowledge of the IRS organization, operations and procedures in work for his clients.

As IRS Commissioner, Chuck presided over the nation’s tax system, which collected more than $4.9 trillion in tax revenue in FY22, representing about 96% of the total gross receipts of the United States. He managed an agency of about 83,000 employees and a budget of more than $13.4 billion. During his tenure, he focused on improving service to the nation’s taxpayers, balancing appropriate enforcement of the nation’s tax laws while respecting taxpayer rights, with a particular focus on traditionally underserved communities. In recognition of his leadership of the IRS, Chuck received the Alexander Hamilton Award from Treasury, the highest honor for individuals selected by the Secretary, whose performance and leadership demonstrate the highest standards of and dedication to public service benefiting our country.

Chuck came to the IRS from a background of defending taxpayers in tax controversies, and he put those insights to use while at IRS.  He was a “hands on” Commissioner, who worked closely with his Division Commissioners in Criminal Investigation, Large Business & International, Small Business/Self Employed, Wage & Investment, and Tax-Exempt & Government Entities to build new enforcement programs and decide how to allocate enforcement resources.

Before heading the IRS, Chuck spent 36 years with an esteemed tax law firm in Beverly Hills, California, where he represented high net-worth individuals, businesses, and corporate taxpayers before the IRS, the Department of Justice Tax Division, federal and state courts and state taxing authorities. Significantly, he earned a reputation for helping his clients resolve disputes with taxing authorities. Although Chuck mounted vigorous defenses for clients and would go to court when necessary, he was adept at resolving matters without litigation, enabling his clients to move their businesses and lives forward as quickly as possible.

Chuck has been a featured speaker and panelist at hundreds of professional conferences throughout the United States, in Europe and in Central America. Before joining the IRS, Chuck Rettig was listed by Chambers USA as the only Eminent Practitioner in the Chambers Category “Tax: Fraud – Nationwide.” On multiple occasions, he was selected by his peers as the Tax "Lawyer of the Year" (Litigation and Controversy, Los Angeles) for Best Lawyers' and was included Nationwide in both “Litigation and Controversy – Tax” and “Tax Law” by Best Lawyers in America. As then stated in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, "According to peers, Charles Rettig . . . is ‘phenomenal, just phenomenal.' Further, he "is regarded by market sources as a 'brilliant and gifted lawyer . . . a real star and a national leader'" who “enjoys a superb reputation and benefits from ‘great presence.’” Chambers USA has further stated “Fantastic controversy tax lawyer” Charles Rettig is “knowledgeable and very intelligent . . . a force to be reckoned with . . . a driving force in policy making at the national level with great client skills when it comes to sensitive matters.”

Chuck has held leadership roles in several professional organizations, most recently serving as Vice Chair-Administration, for the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, and President of the American College of Tax Counsel. He was a member of the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC) for three years, beginning in 2008, and he served as IRSAC’s chair from 2010 to 2011. He also served as Chair of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of California and has served on the advisory boards of both the Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization in his home state of California. Chuck is a Certified Specialist in both Taxation Law and in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law (The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization).

Chuck received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as a J.D. with honors from Pepperdine University School of Law and an LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law.

Chuck is the co-founder of the UCLA Extension VETS COUNT Scholarship Fund. This fund provides scholarships to active duty and retired military personnel who are working to realize their career goals in tax, accounting, wealth management and other areas of the financial services industry. VETS COUNT also supports active duty and retired military personnel pursuing basic coursework for personal growth in budgeting, financial literacy and investing.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation
  • American College of Tax Counsel (President, 2018)
  • American Tax Policy Institute
  • IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC)
  • New York University Institute of Taxation
  • UCLA Extension Annual Tax Controversy Institute
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association




Seminars & Presentations

New York University Institute on Federal Taxation

Southern Federal Tax Institute

ABA Taxation Section May/Mid-Year & Fall Meetings

AICPA National Tax Conference

UCLA Annual Tax Controversy Institute

ABA National Institutes on Criminal Tax Fraud and Civil Tax Controversy

ABA International Tax Enforcement Conference

NYU Tax Controversy Forum

AICPA Conference on Tax Controversies, ACAMS, the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, IRS Estate & Gift Tax Attorney CPE Conference

IRS Western Region Appellate Conference

IRS Compliance Division - New Employee Orientation

IRS Fraud Technical Advisor Seminar

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Corporate Fraud Conference

USC Tax Institute

Tulane Tax Institute

IRS Tax Forums AICPA Conference on Tax Strategies for High Income Taxpayers

Philadelphia Tax Conference, ALI-CLE

Annual Hawaii Tax Institute

Chaminade University Annual Non-Profit Organizations Conference

Annual Western Conference on Tax Exempt Organizations

Southern Nevada Estate Planning Council

Estate Planning Council of Portland

Estate Planning Council of Woodland Hills

Annual Oregon Tax Institute

Pacific Tax Institute

Southwest Tax Conference, PLI

Annual Tax Institute of the University of Texas

Georgia Tax Forum

California CPA Society Education Foundation Tax Update and Planning Conference and the Tax and Financial Planning for High Net Worth Individuals Conference

Hemispheric Congress Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) Conference in Panama

Annual International AML Conference in Amsterdam

CCH User Conference, the Annual ACAMS Anti Money-Laundering & Counter-Terrorism Financing Conference


ASA International Advanced Business Valuation Conference

Florida State Bar Taxation Section Annual Conference

California Tax Policy Conference

Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bars.

Hot Topics In IRS Enforcement Tips from the Tax Trenches, 2017

Tax Preparer Obligations & Penalties - IRS Audit Issues & Hot Topics Tips from the Tax Trenches! 2015

International Tax Enforcement, 2014

Practical Tax Advice, 2014

Nuts and Bolts of IRS Audits, 2013

IRS Voluntary Disclosures Demystified, 2012

International Tax Enforcement, 2012

IRS Audit Issues of Interest to Estate Planners,2012

Taxpayer Examination Representation 101, 2012

Documenting Your Tax File, 2012

Professional Considerations During an IRS Examination, 2011

Ethical And Professionalism Considerations In The Tax Controversy Setting, 2011

Understanding International Tax Evasion and How to Detect it Across Jurisdictions, 2011

Panamanian Bankers: FATCA Compliance and U.S. Reporting Obligations – Understanding the Individual and Institutional Liabilities and Responsibilities, 2011

Cash Reporting and Reporting Requirements for Foreign Financial Accounts, 2011-2012

The New IRS FBAR 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI), 2011

IRS Wealth Squad Examinations, 2010

IRS Enforcement Priorities, 2010

Reporting Foreign Financial Accounts, 2010

Regulation of Return Preparers, 2010

Practitioner Standards, Penalties & Enforcement Initiatives - Lessons for Estate Planners, 2010

Understanding the AML Department’s Role in Detecting and Preventing Tax Evasion in the New Enforcement Climate, 2010

Taxpayer Representation: Basic Overview of the IRS Examination Process; 2010

IRS Appeals, 2010



What to Expect from Newly Announced LB&I Compliance Campaigns, 2017

TIGTA Evaluation of the IRS Whistleblower Program, 2016

IRS High Wealth Industry Group, 2013

Why the Ongoing Problem with FBAR Compliance?, 2016

In a Tax Practice, Everything Is Fine, Until It’s Not!, 2016

The Panama Papers and Lessons Learned from Years of Offshore Leaks, 2016

IRS Audit Selection and Classification Processes, 2016; Evaluating the IRS Wealth Squad, 2015

Basic Overview: The Kovel Accountant and Privileged Communications, 2015

Handling the Sensitive Issue IRS Audit, 2015; NEW IRS Guidance Limits FBAR Penalties! 2015

Determining “Reasonable Cause” for Nonwillful FBAR Violations, 2015

Overview: Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, 2015

Overview: IRS Examination Process, 2014

Overview: Indirect Methods of Determining Taxable Income, 2014

IRS LB&I Revised IDR Enforcement Process, 2014

GAO to IRS: Pursue Quiet Disclosures and First Time FBAR Filers, 2013

IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program: Opt-Outs, a Revised FBAR and Rescissions of Pre-Clearance Letters by Criminal Investigations, 2013

Whistleblower Awards and the Bank Secrecy Act: Mutually Exclusive?, 2013

Form 8300: Reporting Domestic Currency Transaction, 2013; A Temporary and Transitory Visit with California Residency, 2013;

Innocent Spouse: Separating the Marital Liability, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, August-September 2012

IRS Provides Updated Guidance Regarding Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, June-July 2012

Overview of Tax Practice and Procedure, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, April-May 2012

IRS Whistleblower Program: Making Money the Old Fashioned Way! CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, April-May 2012

Practice Tips from the Tax Trenches, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, December 2011 - January 2012

IRS Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, October- November 2011

Evaluation of an IRS Undisclosed Offshore Account IDR, Tax Notes Column, November 2011

A Fresh Start for Struggling Taxpayers, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, June-July 2011

Enhancing Voluntary Compliance Through the Administration of Civil Tax Penalties, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, April-May 2011

The Last, Best Chance to Disclose Foreign Financial Accounts and Assets -The 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and Beyond!, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, February-March 2011

Basic Audit Techniques: Taxpayer Interviews, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, August-September 2010.

FOIA Requests, Tax Notes Column, August 2010

IRS Return Preparer Strategy: Leveraging Limited Tax Enforcement Resources Through the Registration and Education of the Return Preparer Community, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, February-March 2010

Meet the New Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility: An Interview with Karen L. Hawkins, CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, August-September 2009

Practitioner Penalties: Potential Pitfalls in the Tax Trenches, Tax Notes, April 2009

Counseling Corporations Involved in Government Investigations and the Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations, Corporate Business Taxation Monthly, February 2009

Update: Estate Planners as Return Preparers - Increased Penalty Exposure and the New Final Regulations, CCH Estate Planning Monthly, February 2009

Currency Reporting Requirements: Everyone into the Pool! CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, June-July 2007

Civil and Criminal Tax Considerations in a Marital Dissolution, Hawaii State Bar Journal, July 2007

Tax Practitioners Guidebook: Picking Up Scraps From the Table, Tax Analysts - Tax Practice, 2007

Non-Filers Beware: Who’s That Knocking at Your Door? CCH Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, October-November 2006

Identity Theft: Phishing on the Internet, KALA Hawaii Society of CPA’s, July 2005