WASHINGTON — Roscoe L. Egger Jr., who led the Internal Revenue Service on a five-year crusade against tax cheats and abusive tax shelters, is resigning as commissioner, the agency announced Friday.
Egger, 65, said he will quit no later than April 30. The certified public accountant and tax lawyer has headed the IRS longer than anyone since World War II. He left the Price Waterhouse & Co. accounting firm to become IRS commissioner in March, 1981.
During his tenure, he fought, with only partial success, attempts by the Office of Management and Budget to reduce the IRS operating budget as part of an overall cut in government spending. Egger contended privately that it made no sense to cut the resources of the agency that collected 92% of the government's revenues.
From almost the day he walked into IRS headquarters, Egger mobilized the agency behind efforts to collect some of the $100 billion a year in taxes that is lost through cheating and to halt proliferation of abusive tax shelters--investments designed to produce a tax write-off rather than a profit.