WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The plan to overhaul the IRS is under close scrutiny. On Wednesday, lawmakers got the chance to grill President Joe Biden’s new nominee for IRS Commissioner, and he addressed concerns about the agency’s future.
Biden nominated Daniel Werfel to be commissioner of the IRS. If confirmed by the Senate, he would be tasked with overseeing a major effort to revamp the agency.
“We have I think a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put in some of these solutions that will benefit all taxpayers,” Werfel said.
Lawmakers recently passed a bill giving the IRS nearly $80 billion to help them update technology, hire new agents, and better organize in order to help taxpayers.
“Frankly, I think the reinvestment in the IRS is extraordinarily important,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said.
Democrats are supportive of the extra money, saying the resources will help cut down on backlogs of returns and catch wealthy tax cheats.
“My commitment is to make sure that that money is spent wisely that we get the most out of that money. So that it benefits taxpayers all taxpayers,” Werfel said.
Many Republicans are voicing concerns about the huge influx of new funding because they’re worried it will be misused.
“Are we just going to misspend all kinds of money trying to go after the wrong group of people?” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked.
Some Republicans have voiced fears that expanding the IRS will mean more audits for average Americans.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) also argued the millions the government already gives the agency each year were not being used effectively.
“It’s just a mess, and we’re just wasting dollars on stuff for the last 40 years we’ve never accomplished,” Cassidy said.
But Werfel promises if he’s confirmed, he’ll be transparent about where the new money is going. He also says he plans to make sure all taxpayers are treated fairly.
“If you’re an honest, hard-working American, who’s doing your taxes effectively, you should expect large corporations and high-income taxpayers to do the same.” Werfel said.