The Role of Tax Research in Tax Administration, Tax Policy, and Setting Other Government Priorities

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: October 15, 2020
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  • IRC Provisions Governing Access to Federal Tax Information
  • Producers and Consumers of Tax Research
  • Overview of Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) 
  • Overview of Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT)
  • Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS)
  • The Joint Statistical Research Program
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Recorded: October 15, 2020


A large knowledge base outside of the law is brought to bear nearly every day in crafting tax policy. Economics, statistics, operations research, and many other professions contribute to this knowledge base. This program will discuss the various strands of this research and how the research is used by Treasury, the IRS, Congress, and other government agencies to formulate tax and non-tax policies. Panelists will explain the sources and collection of data used in tax research, the parties that are performing tax research, and the many uses of tax research.

The program is intended to provide tax lawyers with a better understanding of the diverse ways in which tax research informs and influences IRS enforcement and compliance efforts, legislation, and overall tax policy.

This program was recorded on October 15th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


James Mackie

Co-Director, US National Tax Quantitative Economics and Statistics Group (QUEST)
Ernst & Young

James supervises the QUEST practice and specializes in federal tax and trade policy.

Prior to joining Ernst & Young LLP (EY), he was the Director of the US Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis. There he led a group of 50 PhD economists who did academic research and supported the adminsitration’s tax policy initiatives. He worked closely with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in developing and anlyzing the TCJA. When leaving Treasury, James received the prestigous Hamilton Award.

At EY, he has worked on analyses of the macroeconomic and tax revenue effects of the TCJA, causes and consequeneces of the federal budget deficit, causes and consequences of trade deficits and the effects of tariffs on the US economy, and the effects of tax and other policy reforms on the economies of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. He has spoken frequently to industry groups on these issues.

Barry Johnson

Acting Director, Statistics of Income Divisions

Barry Johnson is the Acting Director of the Statistics of Income Division at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He leads all aspects of major federal statistical agency engaged in the collection and dissemination of statistics on the U.S. tax system, the distributions of income and wealth, domestic and international businesses, and the non-profit sector. This program produces data from more than 200 different administrative sources to support the budget and tax policy planning functions of the Congress and Treasury Department.

Barry is responsible for public data dissemination strategy that includes a customer support staff, Web site with more than 14,000 products, social media outreach, and a dozen major annual publications. He leads strategic planning, customer outreach, and program reviews to improve process efficiencies and product quality, timeliness and relevance.

Barry received his Masters in Economics from American University in 2013.

Rochelle Hodes

Crowe LLP

Rochelle Hodes is a Principal in the Washington National Tax Office at Crowe. She has over twenty-nine years of experience providing tax controversy and tax policy services. Rochelle provides deep expertise in federal tax policy, including litigation, legislation, and regulatory proposals.

Rochelle specializes in U.S. federal tax practice and procedure, including resolution of federal tax controversies and compliance with federal tax laws. Her experience includes overseeing implementation of internal policies and procedures and oversight of tax return preparers and advisors regarding compliance with federal and state tax law.

Mark J. Mazur

Tax Expert
Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Mark J. Mazur is the Robert C. Pozen director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and a vice president at the Urban Institute. His research interests cover all aspects of tax policy. From 2012 until early 2017, he was the assistant secretary for tax policy at the US Department of the Treasury.

Mazur served in the federal government for 27 years in various positions, including policy economist at the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; senior director at the National Economic Council; chief economist and senior policy adviser and director of policy at the US Department of Energy; acting administrator of the Energy Information Administration; director of research, analysis, and statistics at the Internal Revenue Service; and deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis in the Office of Tax Policy.

Before entering public service, Mazur was an assistant professor in Heinz College at Carnegie-Mellon University.

He has a bachelor’s degree in financial administration from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in economics and a PhD in business from Stanford University.

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