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Longest- and Shortest-Serving Commissioners of Internal Revenue

The office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue was created by an Act of Congress on July 1, 1862. The Commissioner is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. With no set tenure, Commissioners served as long as they and the President chose. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 amended Code section 7803 to set a five-year term of office. The first such term was applied to the Commissioner serving when this Act became law, Charles Rossotti, beginning with the date of his appointment. He served the full five years, from November 1997 to November 2002.

Not counting those who served as Acting Commissioner between permanent appointees, these Commissioners served the shortest times in office, less than one year:

 

Name

Tenure

Dates

Robert E. Hannegan 3 months, 14 days 10/9/1943 — 1/22/1944 
William Orton 4 months  7/1/1865 — 10/31/1865 
Alfred Pleasonton 7 months, 6 days  1/3/1871 — 8/8/1871
George S. Boutwell 7 months, 16 days  7/17/1862 — 3/4/1863 
Shirley D. Peterson  11months, 18 days 2/3/1992 — 1/20/1993 

 

These Commissioners served the longest terms, five years or more:

 

 Name

Tenure

Dates 

Guy T. Helvering

10 years, 4 months 6/6/1933 — 10/8/1943
David H. Blair 8 years 5/27/1921 — 5/31/1929 
Joseph S. Miller 7 years, 7 months

3/20/1885 — 3/20/1889 and
4/19/1893 — 11/26/1896

Green B. Raum 6 years, 9 months 8/2/1876 — 4/30/1883
John W. Yerkes 6 years, 4 months 12/20/1900 — 4/30/1907
Roscoe L. Egger, Jr. 5 years, 1 month 3/14/1981 — 4/30/1986
Charles O. Rossotti 5 years 11/13/1997 — 11/12/2002