Roberts exits as state revenue commissioner

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the departure of Department of Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts who will leave the administration December 2.

Roberts has served as commissioner since 2011. Under his leadership, the department adopted several systems and procedures that have improved services to citizens and businesses, including an updated tax registration and reporting system and a motor vehicle and title registration system. The department also reduced a prior backlog of tax-letter rulings, started a program to identify tax underreporting and underpayment of taxes, and promoted and encouraged electronic tax filing to increase efficiency and promote cost savings.

“Richard has been a valuable part of our administration, creating programs that have benefited taxpayers, streamlining processes for businesses, and providing his department the tools it needs to be more effective. I especially appreciate that Richard has also looked at the long-term needs of the department which will benefit the state for years to come,” Haslam said.

Roberts has also been instrumental in efforts to prevent retailers from under-remitting sales taxes collected from customers; update Tennessee’s tax code to reflect modern business practices; and implement dealer drive-out registration tags to provide real-time verification of temporary tags to combat fraud.

“I feel honored to have served the citizens of Tennessee. I am grateful to Governor Haslam for giving me the opportunity to work with such a dedicated group of state employees in the Department of Revenue, the county clerks of our 95 counties and many others. These employees take seriously their jobs which are so critical to the ability of the state to support its vital functions for the benefit of all our citizens. My wife and I have enjoyed our time in Nashville,” Roberts said.

Roberts previously held leadership roles at Miller Industries, Inc., Forward Air Corporation and Landair Corporation, and practiced law with the regional firm Baker Worthington. He earned a bachelor’s degree, a law degree and an MBA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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