On July 30th, newly appointed Deputy Commissioner Danny Werfel spoke at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum in Dallas, Texas. There he addressed key IRS accomplishments and struggles while sharing his vision for the Internal Revenue Service as the organization continues to move forward and fulfill its obligations and responsibilities.
Werfel took the time to acknowledge the IRS’s accomplishments, which he believes have been overlooked amidst recent controversy. He praised the organization’s ability to continually manage the submission of returns in a fairly seamless fashion regardless of the growing complexity of the tax code. Also, Werfel felt the IRS’s ability to complete a successful 2012 filing season—collecting more than $2.5 trillion to fund the federal government—following significant budget cuts was commendable. Other notable accomplishments included the following:
- Improved international tax compliance
- Modernization of IRS technology to ensure improved filing experiences
- Efforts to eliminate identify theft and refund fraud, including the resolution of more than 565,000 cases, three times the number resolved last year at this same time
- Expansion of fraud detection efforts
- Upcoming deployment of a new Enterprise Risk Management Program to detect and address risk across the IRS
Werfel took a considerable amount of time to address his concern over recent budget cuts and the impact it will have on the IRS. He expressed his concern in the following statement:
“Ultimately, I believe a high-performing IRS is in the best interest of the nation. To be high-performing, we must be able to invest for the future in areas such as strategic hiring, critical training, and further technology modernization. We will also lose critical institutional knowledge and compromise overall productivity if we fail to replace departing staff. Thus, before such cuts are implemented in response to potential IRS waste, we must carefully consider the state of IRS spending today to determine if such waste persists, and the impact that such cuts will have on the core mission of taxpayer service and enforcement.”
Werfel continually praised the efforts of dedicated IRS employees and took the time, at the close of his speech, to commend their efforts. He explained, “It is easy to forget that, in the middle of the tempest in Washington that we have found ourselves in, there are thousands of dedicated employees and leaders, who have no connection to the events of the past few months…”
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