President Biden has announced his plans to nominate Danny Werfel to serve as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If confirmed by the Senate, Werfel – who has served under both Democratic and Republican administrations – would lead the agency after it has come under fire for its outdated IT systems and a substantial backlog of tax returns.

He would replace Charles Rettig, whose term ends on November 12.

President Obama appointed Werfel to serve as acting commissioner of the IRS in 2013, following a scandalous inspector general report that alleged mismanagement and bias in determining the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations.

“Werfel provided immediate stability to the IRS, effectively responding to numerous Congressional investigations, successfully launching the Affordable Care Act technology that IRS was responsible for, and navigated the IRS through a multi-week government shutdown,” the White House said in a press release.

Werfel has also served for over 15 years as the controller of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and has spent the last nine years at Boston Consulting Group.

Werfel would take over the agency after the Inflation Reduction Act provided $80 billion of new funding over ten years for the IRS.

The new funding aims to help modernize the agency’s business systems, including nearly $5 billion to hasten work on the agency’s three-year-old IT modernization plan, which had already received $275 million from the fiscal year 2022 budget and a one-time shot of $1 billion under the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021.

Last year, Werfel said that if he was appointed commissioner with the new $80 billion in funding, he would look to hire more people, invest in technology, and possibly bring in some expertise to “raise the IRS’s game in data analytics and forensics.”

“After decades of underfunding, the IRS now has the resources it needs to improve services for taxpayers and modernize outdated technology and infrastructure,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in a statement.

“Danny’s prior service under both Democratic and Republican administrations, his deep management experience, and his work directing significant transformation efforts, make him uniquely qualified to lead the agency at this critical juncture,” Yellen added.

IRS Deputy Commissioner Douglas O’Donnell will serve as acting commissioner while Werfel awaits Senate confirmation.

Read More About
More Topics
Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.