Earlier this month, the White House announced the President’s intent to nominate Danny Werfel as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), calling him a “public and private sector leader who has served both Democratic and Republican administrations.”
Werfel has spoken about the value of whistleblowing and the importance of people who come forward with information about individuals and companies who either attempt to or commit tax-related crimes.
What the nomination could mean
Werfel has referred to current programs that offer monetary awards to whistleblowers. If appointed, he states that one of his priorities is strengthening the IRS’s existing Whistleblower Program. He also notes that individuals who come forward have become essential to the government and should be rewarded accordingly.
As it stands, the IRS Whistleblower Program has significant problems, including:
- Lack of resources
- Delays in payments to whistleblowers
- Confusion around incentives
If appointed, Werfel intends to address these issues.
Solving these problems
The IRS’s Whistleblowing Program Office has lost much of its workforce in the past few years. These departures resulted in a backlog of cases without the necessary number of specialists to tackle them. Sometimes years go by, and whistleblowers die before receiving their awards, negatively affecting the program’s reputation and potentially discouraging individuals from coming forward.
Werfel believes that whistleblowers are a powerful and essential tool for the government. He states that supporting these programs would greatly benefit solving tax evasion and financial fraud cases, not only for the government but also for the American people.