Senate confirms Daniel Werfel as IRS commissioner in bipartisan vote

Principal Deputy IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel testifies before the House Small Business Committee on “The Internal Revenue Service and Small Businesses: Ensuring Fair Treatment” on July 17, 2013 in Washington.

James Lawler Duggan | Reuters

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Daniel Werfel as the next commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, filling a key role just weeks before the April 2022 income tax filing deadline.

President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the IRS won the support of nearly every Senate Democrat and a handful of Republicans. The only Democrat to oppose Werfel’s confirmation was West Virginia Sen. Only Joe Manchin.

One of Werfel’s priorities at the IRS is making sure wealthy Americans pay their full tax bill.

“If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, audit and compliance priorities will be focused on improving IRS capabilities to ensure that America’s highest earners comply with tax laws,” Werfel said at his confirmation hearing in February.

continuously An order From Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Werfel also promised that the IRS would not increase audit rates for small businesses and households making under $400,000 compared to recent years.

Yellen’s priorities for the agency revolve largely around taxpayer services, such as eliminating the backlog of unprocessed tax returns, improving customer service, modernizing technology and hiring staff.

Werfel will lead the tax agency during a period of increased scrutiny, driven by a new Republican majority in the House. Of particular interest to the GOP is a provision in last year’s inflation-reduction legislation that provides an additional $80 billion in funding for the IRS over the next decade.

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In January, House Republicans voted to repeal that funding in their first official vote as a majority party. But without the support of the Democratic-controlled Senate or the White House, the bill was largely symbolic and never progressed beyond that.

The House Ways and Means Committee announced on its oversight priorities last monthAccording to Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., $80 billion in IRS funding is “at the top of the list.”

The IRS is also under fire for failing to meet a Feb. 17 deadline to submit a plan for how it intends to use the new funds. Yellen requested the plan in August.

Senators who voted to confirm Werfel praised his experience in the public and private sectors.

“Confirming someone as qualified as Mr. Werfel as IRS Commissioner is critical to ensuring Americans take full advantage of all the tax breaks we approved last year,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DNY. said on the Senate floor on Monday.

“It’s critical to use the resources we’ve approved to go after rich cheaters and ensure that middle-class families aren’t needlessly censored while those at the top get off scot-free,” Schumer said.

Werfel, George W., is now a partner at Boston Consulting Group. He served as Acting Comptroller of the Office of Management and Budget in the Bush administration. Under Bush’s successor, President Barack Obama, Werfel was confirmed as full-time OMB comptroller. Later in 2013, he served as IRS Commissioner.

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