President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has received confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
The final vote to confirm nominee Daniel Werfel took place late Thursday morning with 54 senators casting "yea" votes, 42 saying "nay" and four not voting. Among those who voted in favor were six Republicans, while West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was the sole Democrat in the "nay" position, according to the vote tally on the Senate website.
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Werfel’s confirmation comes nearly four months after Biden first announced that he had tapped him to serve as the IRS’s next head. Douglas O’Donnell has been serving as acting commissioner since November, when former Commissioner Charles Rettig’s term came to an end.
Biden, while announcing Werfel’s nomination, touted both Werfel’s private-sector work and his "more than 15 years of government service."
The White House has said the positions he held during his work in the public sector "under both Democratic and Republican administrations" included controller of the Office of Management and Budget and acting IRS commissioner. Most recently, he’s been working at Boston Consulting Group.
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Werfel’s tenure as IRS commissioner is slated to run until Nov. 12, 2027.
Trump-nominated Rettig served as IRS commissioner for roughly four years after coming to the role from a tax law firm.
Werfel will join the IRS as the agency continues to "experience delays" that it has said are "due to the lingering effects of COVID-19." The IRS said the total number of unprocessed individual tax returns it had as of Feb. 25 was 2.2 million, a figure that included "tax year 2022 returns, 2021 returns that need review or correction and late filed prior year returns."
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Due to the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in August, the IRS is also getting more money – to the tune of $80 billion across 10 years. Things the agency has already used some of those additional funds for include adding several thousand customer service representatives and expanding online technology features.