Danny Werfel, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the IRS, stated in his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that increasing the number of audits on Americans would be a priority for the IRS.
Werfel further stated that improving taxpayer services at the IRS would not receive more focus than ramping up audits.
Asked by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) if he would prioritize improving taxpayer services at the IRS over increasing the number of audits on American taxpayers, Werfel answered that it would be a “dual priority” that the IRS would be “equally focused on” under his administration.
Below is the full exchange between Sen. Thune and Werfel:
Sen. Thune: “In terms of priorities, as you look at this issue, what will be the higher priority for you when it comes to administering the IRS funding allocation? Better customer service for taxpayers, or increasing the number of audits on American taxpayers?”
Werfel: “It will be a dual priority, Senator. Equally focused on improving taxpayer service – in particular for working families and small businesses – and side by side with that will be a commitment to improve the IRS’s capacity to unpack complex returns. Which is something I understand today, they lack that capacity.”
Sen. Thune: “Well I hope that the agency will double-down when it comes to dealing with prioritizing taxpayer services. I mean those numbers are non-defensible. Inexcusable. It needs to be fixed.”