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The U.S. Senate confirmed Daniel Werfel as the next Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, filling the key role just weeks before April's 2022 income tax filing deadline. Daniel Werfel will take the helm of the IRS at a crucial time in the agency’s history following the Senate’s narrower-than-expected 54-42 confirmation vote.

Werfel begins his five-year term at a critical time for an agency maligned for backlogs, data leaks, poor customer service, and alleged political favoritism.

Six Republicans joined 48 Democrats and independents in voting March 9 to confirm Werfel. A broader margin had been foreshadowed in a March 2 Senate Finance Committee vote. While four Finance Committee Republicans voted for Werfel: Todd Young of Indiana, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, only two of the 36 Republicans not on the tax writing committee — Susan M. Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voted for him.

“For Mr. Werfel to get bipartisan support to lead the IRS at a time when a lot of Republicans would happily mothball the entire agency is a testament to his fairness, his ability to work with both sides and his undeniable qualification for this role,” Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement.

Most recently a managing director and partner at the Boston Consulting Group, Mr. Werfel is no stranger to the IRS, having been selected by President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew to serve as acting commissioner in the wake of the agency's organizational crisis. Before that appointment, Mr. Werfel worked as deputy and federal controller for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

At his Finance Committee confirmation hearing, Werfel made a commitment to make the IRS’s spending plan for the $80 billion in additional funding available to the public and promised to issue a report to the committee within 60 days of his confirmation on why the IRS is auditing Black taxpayers at higher rates.

Douglas O’Donnell has served as acting commissioner since former Commissioner Charles Rettig stepped down at the end of his term in November 2022. Werfel will serve a term ending in November 2027.