* Resignation of current chief of tax agency was expected
* Steven Miller, an IRS veteran, to be acting chief
(Adds reaction, background) By Patrick Temple-West
Oct 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said onWednesday that Steven Miller will become acting head of the taxagency after Doug Shulman, the present commissioner, steps downon Nov. 9.
Shulman had been expected to resign at the end of his termin early November as head of the 104,000-employee agency thateach year collects trillions of dollars in federal tax revenueand enforces the nation's complex tax laws.
Miller, IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcementsince September 2009, is a 25-year veteran of the agency.
The IRS leadership change comes ahead of a turbulent period,with Congress facing several major decisions on taxes as part ofthe "fiscal cliff" events at year-end. Tax experts have saidthat delays in issuing tax refunds could result next year.
Miller's top challenge will be "navigating next year'sfiling season," said Kevin Brown, a principal at Big Fouraccounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP who was an IRS actingcommissioner for several months in 2007.
"This is the worst set of circumstances that I can rememberwith the 'fiscal cliff' looming," Brown said, but added thatwith Miller on the job, "the IRS is in very good hands."
The commissioner's post is a presidential appointmentsubject to Senate confirmation.
Shulman, a Democrat appointed to the post under RepublicanPresident George W. Bush, has served since March 2008. The IRSdid not provide details about Shulman's next career move.
Before Shulman was confirmed by the Senate at the start ofhis term, the IRS was led by two acting commissioners over atransition period of more than nine months.
The previous Senate-confirmed commissioner was Mark Everson,who stepped down in May 2007.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner praised Miller as a"dedicated career public servant." The Treasury Departmentoversees the IRS.
Treasury and IRS did not say when a nominee for commissionerwould be announced. That decision hinges on the outcome of theNov. 6 presidential election.
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh,Sandra Maler and Gary Crosse)
Keywords: USA TAX/COMMISSIONER