Whistleblowers Detail Why Drones Weren't Used at Trump's Butler Rally
Kamala Harris Finally Issues Statement About Pro-Hamas Takeover in D.C.
We Might Have Found a Clue That Points to a Motive for Trump's...
The FBI Director Rehashed a Trump Assassination Conspiracy Theory Yesterday
These Congressional Democrats Are Scrambling to Distance Themselves From Border Czar Harri...
Have You Seen the Aftermath of Pro-Hamas Chaos?
CrowdStrike Actually Gave This to Its Partners as Part of Its Apology Over...
Trump Campaign Demands 'Equal Airtime' in Response to Biden Oval Office Address
Finally, Something Democrats and Republicans Agree On
Harris Campaign Makes Quite the Admission About Project 2025
Creepy: A 'Nonpartisan' Website Just Deleted Some Damning Data About Kamala
There's More to That Kamala Harris Campaign Memo
Here Is New Information FBI Director Disclosed on The Attempted Assassination of Trump
Here We Go: Media Spins That Kamala Isn't Technically the Border Czar
Is Politico Serious With This Headline About the Pro-Hamas Agitators in D.C.?
OPINION

Questions for Biden’s IRS Nominee

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

President Joe Biden has nominated Danny Werfel, a veteran of the tax bureaucracy and former interim commissioner of the IRS, to take that role permanently. This time, Biden wants to nominate him for a full term in the commissioner’s chair. 

Advertisement

When the Senate interviews Werfel for confirmation to the post, there will be a lot for which he has to answer. If he is confirmed, Werfel will have a moral and legal obligation to reform what has become a rotten agency, accountable to no one. 

One of the biggest IRS scandals for which Werfel will have to provide answers is arguably its most brazen: the purposeful destruction of 30 million taxpayer documents in 2021. To put that into perspective, that is not an error of someone misplacing a few boxes. If all of the destroyed papers were stacked on top of one another, the pile would be over two miles high. 

This heinous act was only discovered by a spot inspection from the IRS’ inspector general’s office. Who made the decision to destroy these documents? What rationale did they use to make that decision? Why did no one think to stop them? Are they being held accountable? Most importantly, what is being done to ensure it won’t happen again? 

There is also the issue of the wholesale theft of decades worth of private, personal tax files published by the progressive group ProPublica. These files, disproportionately belonging to some of the nations highest earners and most prominent citizens, are considered among the most closely guarded at the IRS. If the thief had no problem stealing some of the IRS’ most sensitive files, they would have no issue stealing yours. 

We were almost immediately promised a swift investigation. Whoever stole these confidential files would have to have high-level, total access to IRS systems. Was there a hack? Or was this an inside job by an employee with an agenda? 

Advertisement

The world learned of the theft on June 8, 2021. It has been 616 days, and there is radio silence from the IRS as to what happened. 

This is despite the fact that Rettig testified that the IRS could detect unauthorized access to its systems in a “fairly timely manner.” This is a breach of the confidence of these American citizens and of the entire American populace. Werfel needs to commit to a quick resolution to this leak, including finding, terminating, and charging those responsible.

There are also questions as to the IRS’ use of agency vehicles. According to the agency’s inspector general, TIGTA, the IRS has more vehicles than it does special agents, and those agents often can’t be bothered to log vehicle usage correctly. The vehicles appear to have been used for personal matters at the taxpayer's expense. 

Meanwhile, a frequent target when small businesses are subject to an invasive IRS audit is record-keeping for mileage deductions for vehicles when used for business purposes. 

If the IRS was subject to one of its own audits, it would fail miserably. Should the IRS not be held to the same standards as it holds those who are unfortunate enough to be going through one of its audits?

Werfel should also commit to transparency with respect to the agency’s use of firearms. The IRS has more than 4600 guns and over 5 million rounds of ammunition. It is worth asking what all of these weapons are needed for, and to see if that arsenal has grown. 

It would also be interesting to hear Werfel’s plans, if he has any, to institute Biden’s aim to have the IRS examine taxpayers’ personal bank data in a particularly intrusive effort to get their hands on your hard-earned money. 

Advertisement

The law requires that the IRS do a yearly “analysis of the sources of complexity in administration of the Federal tax laws.” To be clear, this is not them advising on tax laws, but merely what can be done to make administering and enforcing those laws easier on the taxpayer. This audit was last completed in 2002, more than 20 years ago.

Taxpayers are forced to trust the IRS with billions of dollars of their hard-earned money and reams of their sensitive personal information. They deserve answers to the myriad problems that have broken the agency and how the incoming commissioner will rectify these issues and make sure those responsible are held accountable. 

The American people deserve nothing less than a functional, efficient, apolitical tax agency. 

Ben Susser is a Communications Associate at Americans for Tax Reform

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos