Rachelle Bernstein is vice president and tax counsel at the National Retail Federation. As such, Bernstein is the principal NRF lobbyist for tax policy matters, interacting with members of Congress and their staffs, Treasury Department and IRS officials on behalf of the retail industry. Bernstein also staffs the NRF’s Taxation Committee, made up of the tax directors for the nation’s largest retailers. In addition to advocating for retailers on tax policy matters, Bernstein serves as a liaison with the IRS’ Retail Industry Group within its Large and Mid-Size Business Division. In this capacity, Bernstein works to negotiate solutions on industry-wide matters that will ease the tax compliance burden for the retail industry.
Prior to joining NRF in 2004, Bernstein spent 18 years in the national offices of two large public accounting firms. From 1986 to 2002, she managed the legislative services group for Arthur Andersen, being promoted from manager to participating principal during her tenure with the firm. In that capacity, she managed the analysis and distribution of information on tax legislative and regulatory matters to Andersen’s tax practice and clients. In addition, she provided legislative and regulatory lobbying services to clients. In 2002, Bernstein joined Deloitte & Touche as a director in the Tax Policy Services Group of the Washington National Tax Office. At D&T, her responsibilities included working with clients on international tax legislative issues and representing retail industry clients on tax legislative and regulatory matters.
Bernstein was a tax advisor to NRF during the last 13 years that she was in public accounting. During that time, she was involved in preparing testimony on legislation or comments on IRS regulations with respect to every major tax policy proposal that affected the retail industry. She also led several successful industry efforts to limit the scope of IRS-coordinated attacks on retail tax issues.
From 1981 to 1986, Bernstein worked in the Tax Policy Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, heading the center from 1984 through 1986, during the development of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. She lobbied on behalf of the Chamber on tax legislative and regulatory proposals affecting business, working with senior Treasury Department officials and members of Congress. Her responsibilities included staffing the Chamber’s Taxation Committee, made up of the heads of tax departments for the nation’s largest companies, and interacting with the Chamber’s Board of Directors to develop Chamber positions on tax policy initiatives.
From 1978 to 1981, Bernstein practiced tax law with two Washington, D.C., law firms.
Bernstein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Syracuse University College of Law. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She is a past chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts’ Tax Legislation and Policy Committee, and she served on an AICPA/American Bar Association/Tax Executives Institute Task Force on Tax Simplification.