Internal Revenue Service Area Counsel (Small Business/Self-Employed) in Chicago, Illinois

  • Duties



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 with an excellent benefits package and family-friendly atmosphere.

The Area Counsel is responsible for the effective supervision, management, and performance of all tax law activities within assigned geographic and program areas in support of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) Division. The incumbent provides legal advice and assistance in determining strategies, plans, and policies for a comprehensive and customer-oriented tax administration program to meet the needs of individual and small business taxpayers and practitioners within the geographic area. Serves as senior legal advisor and expert consultant to officials of the Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, Treasury, and other agencies and organizations on the legal issues, regulations, and needs relevant to serving all individuals filing schedules C, E, F, and/or Form 2106, as well as corporations, S corporations, and partnerships with assets of $10 million or less. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for planning, directing, supervising and coordinating policies and programs for the delivery of legal advice and development of strategies for general litigation, and for providing other support, as needed, to the IRS SB/SE Division, other IRS Divisions, Counsel offices, government agencies, and the public.

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  • Through subordinate supervisory attorneys, provides executive leadership to the Small Business/Self Employed practice groups within the geographic area. Ensures implementation of Division Counsel (SB/SE) business unit strategy and goals designed to enhance compliance with the tax laws. Coordinates with the Division Counsel, Deputies Division Counsel, and other Area Counsel to assure nationwide consistency of approach to and resolution of cases at the practice group level. Resolves problems in the operations of field offices, elevating issues to the Division Counsel (SB/SE) and appropriate Associate Chief Counsel as necessary to ensure IRS-wide consistency of resolution.
  • Implements Division Counsel (SB/SE) performance measures and program goals for providing legal services within the SB/SE organization and monitors Area accomplishments to ensure continued focus on mission-directed activity. Sets Area business strategies and goals in alignment with overall organizational and research strategies and ensures that performance and program goals, strategies, and organizational policies are clearly communicated to employees.
  • Coordinates closely with appropriate IRS Director(s) and staff to ensure that all legal services are provided in a timely and responsive manner. Implements and evaluates operational policies and procedures designed to improve the delivery of legal services within the geographic area. As necessary, develops and implements program modifications, alternative methods, and novel methodologies in order to enhance legal service being provided to the IRS. Exercises ongoing responsibility for the overall management of geographically dispersed tax litigation groups in the Area. Through subordinate managers and attorneys, represents the government in the U.S. Tax Court and provides quality legal advice to SB/SE and Wage and Investment field personnel. Reviews and exercises independent judgment with respect to questions concerning litigation and/or settlement of issues and cases. In addition, promotes, cultivates, and evaluates legal service to IRS Service and Computing Centers Area-wide for both SB/SE and for the Wage and Investment functional program.
  • Directs staff in providing day-to-day legal advice to the SB/SE client Director(s) and to other IRS and Chief Counsel offices within the assigned geographic area, and is responsible for providing timely, quality support through litigation, field advice, training, and other initiatives. Works closely with, and provides Area-wide legal assistance to, IRS Appeals offices dealing with SB/SE issues. Assigns attorneys as points of contact to certain SB/SE examinations or SB/SE groups. Exercises ongoing responsibility for overall management of geographically dispersed tax litigation groups in the Area.
  • Responsible for the overall management of the Area offices. Ensures continued coordination, control, and direction of the offices so that the organizational objectives, policies, procedures, and programs are implemented effectively. Ensures that subordinate supervisors operate as an effective management team, delegates sufficient authority and provides a supportive environment for subordinates to manage their resources effectively and seek continuous improvement through creativity and innovation. Ensures that all management functions are being handled equitably and in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the client. Ensures sound position management policy, and takes positive steps in support of all merit system principles.
Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

Applications will be accepted from all groups of qualified individuals. No prior Federal experience is required.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

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0905 Attorney

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • Applications will be accepted on-line via Career Connector.
  • If unable to apply on-line please contact
  • One year probationary period is required.
  • Please apply before the closing date in case of technical difficulties.
  • Relocation expenses will be paid for Federal employees only.

Applicants must be an active member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

Applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level management capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under the Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications listed below.

(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.


As a basic requirement, candidates must demonstrate they possess experience which has provided them with both the Professional/Technical Competencies and the Executive Core Qualifications outlined below. Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at, or above, the GS 15 grade level in the Federal service, or with state or local government, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations.

A) Professional/Technical Qualifications:

In addition to the general managerial competencies set out in the Executive Core Qualifications and mandatory for all Senior Executive Service positions, candidates must show evidence of the following more specific competencies in order to meet basic qualifications for this position:

1. Mandatory:

A. Position requires comprehensive, professional knowledge of and experience in applying tax laws affecting individuals filing schedules C, E, F and/or Form 2106 as well as corporations, S corporations, and partnerships with assets of $10 million or less. Position also requires strong direct or indirect experience with tax litigation and dispute resolution. Graduation from an ABA accredited law school and possession of a current bar membership which permits the practice of law in the United States.

B. Must have demonstrated experience in managing all aspects of a law program that involves significant human and fiscal resources, including the ability to allocate, manage, and prioritize resources to achieve short and long-term goals. Experience includes planning, directing, budgeting, staffing, and evaluating programs, as well as effectively managing equal employment opportunity initiatives.

C. Must have demonstrated the ability to review and evaluate programs for the purpose of assessing their effectiveness against overall organizational goals and objectives, and the ability to design and implement program improvements as necessary to increase efficiency and enhance organizational performance.

2. Desirable:

A. A thorough understanding of the operations and organization of the Internal Revenue Service and Office of Chief Counsel, and a solid understanding of the Department of the Treasury and its Office of General Counsel, are desirable.

B) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ's): ****Unless you are currently serving under a Career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the SES, you must address the ECQs. The following five ECQ's provide the focus for certification of executive qualifications for initial career appointment to the Senior Executive Service (SES) and also provides a basis for assessing relative quality of management experience for this position. The listing of elements for each activity area is illustrative, not exhaustive, and it is not expected that an individual will be a subject-matter expert in all of these activities. Please provide a brief explanation providing two examples of your experience with each ECQ.

1. Leading Change: This core qualification involves the ability to develop and implement an organizational vision which integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors. Inherent in this ECQ is the ability to balance change and continuity, to continually strive to improve customer service and program performance within the basic Government framework, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking, and to maintain focus, intensity, and persistence, even under adversity.

2. Leading People: This core qualification involves the ability to design and implement strategies which maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.

3. Results Driven: This core qualification involves the ability to stress accountability and continuous improvement, to make timely and effective decisions, and to produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

4. Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner which instills pubic trust and accomplishes the organization's mission, and to use new technology to enhance decision making.

5. Building Coalitions/Communications: This core qualification involves the ability to explain, advocate, and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, and negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally.


Applicants must have successfully completed a full course of study in a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association leading to a professional law degree - JD. An LLM in Taxation is desired but not required.

Additional information


  • Required to file a public financial disclosure report (OGE Form 278) upon entry on duty, and annually thereafter.
  • Initial SES appointment will be required to serve a one-year probationary period.
  • 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.
  • Must receive favorable results for fingerprints and tax clearance for the last three years tax returns filed, prior to entrance on duty or receipt of an official job offer. Because of its tax-related mission, the Office of Chief Counsel requires fingerprinting, tax verification, and background security investigation as part of the pre-employment process.
  • After entrance on duty, failure to successfully meet the background investigation and favorable adjudication requirements may be grounds for termination.
  • After entrance on duty, the candidate selected will undergo a federal income tax examination and must have no significant compliance issues.
  • The Office of Chief Counsel provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities on a case by case basis. If you need reasonable accommodations, please notify the point of contact listed below. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Candidates found basically qualified will be further evaluated by an Executive Resources Board based on the extent and quality of their experience as it relates to the Professional/Technical Competencies and the Executive Core Qualifications needed for this position. Appropriate consideration will be given for job-related training, education, awards, publications, and supervisory appraisals of job performance. Interviews of applicants may be held at the option of the Board. Selected applicant will be subject to certification of their executive qualifications by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (unless previously certified).

(Note: Current and former SES members, and other candidates who have already been OPM/QRB-certified, are not required to address the executive core qualifications. They must, however, provide documentation of certification in the form of an SF-50 showing career SES status, or an OPM issued SES qualification certificate.) To preview questions please click here.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents


Required Documents

All applicants must submit the following documents:

  1. Cover letter (memorandum of interest) summarizing your interested 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 supplemental narrative statement that addresses your possession of the Professional/Technical Competencies and a supplemental narrative statement that addresses your possession of the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ's).

  5. If you are not an OPM - certified SES member or candidate, you must address the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ's).

6.* For Federal employees:*A copy of your most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action", confirming your status eligibility and highest permanent grade/step/salary held in the Federal service. (Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP). Applicant's SF-50 should reflect the promotion potential of their most recent Federal position).

7.* For Chief Counsel employees:*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.

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 will not be considered for this position (or will 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 (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.

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.

  • Benefits



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.

  • Benefits for federal employees
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Pay and leave!benefits.hms?orgId=26&jnum;=156892

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.

  • How to Apply


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 the closing date of this announcement. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET, Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, please contact us by noon ET on the announcement's closing date. Treasury provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us by email at Carrie.L.Middleton@irscounsel.treas if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

To begin,either click the “Create a New Account” button and follow the prompts to register or if you previously registered, click the "Apply Online" button and follow the prompts.

You will be re-directed to Treasury’s CareerConnector system to complete your application process; answer the online questions, and submit all required documents. To submit supporting documents, click one of the available options; Upload; Fax; or Reuse existing documents. To protect your privacy, we suggest you first remove your SSN. Also, go to “My Account” to view and update your information, as necessary.

  • To complete, you must click the “Finish” button located at the bottom of the “Application Review” page.
  • To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, select the Application Status link and then select the* more information* link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application.
  • To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete. If you are experiencing system issues with your application, please contact the CareerConnector Help Desk at** and/or the*USAJOBS Help Desk*.

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Agency contact information
HR Specialist






INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE 1111 Constitution Ave. NW Room 3042 Washington, District of Columbia United States

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Next steps

You may check the status of your application for this position at any time by logging onto the USAJOBS “My Account” tab and clicking on “Application Status.” For a more detailed update of your application status, you may click on “more information.”

Please notify us if your contact information changes after the closing date of the announcement. Also, note that if you provide an email address that is inaccurate or if your mailbox is full or blocked (e.g., spam-blocker), you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at OPM
  • Office of Equal Opportunity

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 10/10/2017 to 10/24/2017

Salary: $124,406 to $172,100 per year

Pay scale & grade: ES ES

Work schedule: Full-Time - Full-Time Excepted Service Appointment

Appointment type: Permanent