IRS Commissioner nominee Danny Werfel recently completed his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Finance Committee (SFC), spending nearly three hours in front of the committee, mostly providing information about how the IRS would use the $80 billion in new funding provided under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Werfel’s answers were largely uncontroversial and generally restated existing Treasury positions, pledging to improve services and avoid increasing audit rates for households making under $400,000.
If approved by the SFC, Werfel will need to be confirmed by the full Senate. Both steps will likely be made easier due to the fact that Democrats retained control — and picked up one seat — in the chamber in November’s elections. Some SFC Republicans also expressed their cautious support for Werfel, however, including Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Todd Young, R-Ind., indicating the votes may not be strictly party-line.
SFC Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., stated he hopes to have his committee vote to advance Werfel’s nomination to the full Senate “very quickly.”
If ultimately confirmed, Werfel will have the opportunity to dramatically transform the IRS over the next several years but will face aggressive oversight from House Republicans already critical of IRS funding. Werfel also may face questions about the disclosure of wealthy Americans’ confidential tax information to the news outlet ProPublica.
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