Veteran IRS enforcement leaders selected to lead SB/SE, TE/GE; Hylton, Ripperda to serve as commissioners

IR-2019-137, July 31, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the selection of Eric Hylton to lead the Small Business and Self-Employed (SB/SE) division and Tamera Ripperda to lead the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) division.

“Eric and Tammy bring a strong background in leadership and tax issues that will help us as we continue our work improving our taxpayer services but also taking important steps on enforcement initiatives inside the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

Hylton, the current deputy chief of IRS Criminal Investigation, will take over as head of SB/SE, which serves more than 50 million taxpayers including self-employed and small businesses with assets under $10 million. SB/SE also handles the agency’s civil side audit issues.

“Eric’s background in criminal investigation will be an asset working with SB/SE leadership and focusing on civil enforcement strategies and initiatives,” Rettig said.

As the deputy chief in CI, Eric oversaw CI’s high-impact investigations of tax evasion, financial crimes, money laundering, bribery, international corruption, cybercrimes and terrorist financing.  Eric also served as the Executive Director of CI’s Office of International Operations.  While in this role, he was appointed as the Chairperson for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)-Task Force for Tax Crimes and Other Financial Crimes. As Chairperson, Eric led a multilateral commission of 40 international criminal tax organizations to develop methodologies and typologies on emerging global criminal tax and financial crimes threats. 

Eric has held a number of other CI leadership positions including: Special Agent in Charge, Philadelphia Field Office, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Washington, DC Field Office and Director of Narcotics and Counterterrorism. 

Eric began his career with IRS in 1990, as a Taxpayer Service Representative in Wage and Investment. His career later evolved into the position of tax auditor in TE/GE, prior to becoming a Special Agent in CI. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Morehouse College.

“On behalf of IRS Criminal Investigation, I want to congratulate Eric on this important assignment and thank him for his years of commitment to the IRS-CI mission,” said Don Fort, IRS Criminal Investigation Chief. “I’m thrilled that this is not a farewell, but an opportunity to continue to work together to move the IRS forward.”

“I am excited to work with the SB/SE team to bring a laser focus on our enforcement strategies and initiatives,” Hylton added. “These efforts will help reduce the tax gap while building confidence from taxpayers as well as overall fairness and compliance in our tax system. Ultimately, effective tax enforcement translates into true customer service for all citizens.”

In TE/GE, Ripperda will take over as commissioner for Sunita Lough, who will become the IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement on Sept. 1. TE/GE oversees issues including exempt organizations, employee plans and government entities.

“Tammy brings a variety of skills and expertise to the diverse set of programs overseen by TE/GE,” Rettig said. “She has a strong record of successfully handling critical programs and working closely with people inside and outside the IRS.”

Tammy became SB/SE Deputy Commissioner in 2016. During this period, she spent 14 months as a director in the Tax Reform Implementation Office (TRIO) where she helped oversee the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017.

Prior to her 2016, Tammy was the Director of TE/GE Exempt Organizations (EO), where she oversaw tax administration and policy for 1.6 million exempt organizations. Before becoming the EO Director in 2014, Tammy served as the Industry Director, Global High Wealth in the Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, where she was responsible for overseeing the examination activities related to high wealth individuals with global holdings and interests. Tammy also held executive positions in various SB/SE operations, including Director of Abusive Transactions and Technical Issues.

“TE/GE plays a critical role serving key areas for the nation, ranging from tax-exempt groups and retirement plans to Indian tribal governments and tax-exempt bonds,” Ripperda said. “I look forward to working with our TE/GE employees and partner groups to continue finding ways to serve these important communities.”

Tammy began her IRS career in 1988 as a Revenue Agent in St. Louis. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Southern Illinois University.