Senate confirms Daniel Werfel as IRS commissioner in bipartisan vote
Principal Deputy IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel testifies earlier than the Home Small Enterprise Committee at a listening to on “The Inside Income Service And Small Companies: Guaranteeing Truthful Remedy” in Washington, July 17, 2013.
James Lawler Duggan | Reuters
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate confirmed Daniel Werfel on Thursday as the subsequent commissioner of the Inside Income Service, filling the important thing position simply weeks earlier than April’s 2022 revenue tax submitting deadline.
President Joe Biden’s choose to steer the IRS gained the assist of almost each Senate Democrat, plus a handful of Republicans. The one Democrat to oppose Werfel’s affirmation was West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.
Certainly one of Werfel’s priorities on the IRS can be guaranteeing that the wealthiest Individuals pay their full tax payments.
“If I’m lucky sufficient to be confirmed, the audit and compliance priorities can be targeted on enhancing IRS’ capabilities to make sure that America’s highest earners adjust to tax legal guidelines,” Werfel mentioned in his affirmation listening to in February.
Following a directive from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Werfel additionally vowed that the IRS wouldn’t enhance audit charges for small companies and households making beneath $400,000, relative to latest years.
Yellen’s priorities for the company largely revolve round taxpayer companies, similar to clearing the backlog of unprocessed tax returns, enhancing customer support, overhauling expertise and hiring staff.
Werfel will take the helm on the tax company throughout a interval of elevated scrutiny, largely pushed by the brand new Republican majority within the Home. Of explicit curiosity to the GOP is a provision in final yr’s Inflation Discount Act, which funds the IRS with an extra $80 billion over the subsequent decade.
In January, Republicans within the Home voted to rescind that funding of their first official vote as the bulk social gathering. However with out assist from the Democratic-controlled Senate or the White Home, the invoice was largely symbolic, and by no means superior past the Home.
The Home Methods and Means Committee introduced final month that amongst its oversight priorities, the $80 billion IRS funding was “on the prime of the checklist,” based on committee Chair Jason Smith, R-Mo.
The IRS can also be beneath fireplace over its failure thus far to fulfill a Feb. 17 deadline to submit a plan for the way it intends to make use of the brand new funding. The plan was requested by Yellen in August.
Senators who voted to substantiate Werfel have praised his expertise in each authorities and the non-public sector.
“Confirming somebody as certified as Mr. Werfel as IRS commissioner is essential to creating positive Individuals take full benefit of all of the tax credit we accredited final yr,” Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., mentioned Monday on the Senate ground.
“Additionally it is essential for deploying assets we accredited to go after wealthy cheats and guarantee middle-class households are usually not needlessly audited whereas these on the prime get by scot-free,” mentioned Schumer.
At the moment a associate at Boston Consulting Group, Werfel served within the George W. Bush administration as appearing controller of the Workplace of Administration and Funds. Below Bush’s successor, President Barack Obama, Werfel was confirmed as full-time OMB controller. He later served as appearing IRS commissioner in 2013.