November 01,2023

Readout of Briefing with IRS Commissioner Werfel

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today thanked Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Werfel, following a briefing on Tuesday evening about the agency’s plan to fixing biased audit algorithms that disproportionately targeted Black taxpayers.

In the briefing, Commissioner Werfel confirmed that there’s a racial disparity in audit selection, which is partially driven by Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) audits, and said the agency has begun changing audit selection algorithms, refocusing enforcement resources to go after fewer low-income taxpayers and more high-earners, partnerships, large corporations, and scammers who prey on low income taxpayers and the elderly. 

Commissioner Werfel is taking this issue seriously and is on the right track toward making the tax enforcement system fairer while striving to fully eliminate bias from its audit selection methods,” Wyden said. “I’m encouraged that the IRS is using IRA funding to help lower-income taxpayers get it right, in lieu of poorly targeted audits.  For example, it is opening or re-opening 50 walk-in centers, leveraging technology to help answer questions and reduce wait times for those who need to call. I look forward to staying engaged with Commissioner on the issue, and thank him for his commitment to report back to Congress annually on his progress in eliminating all types of bias in audit selection.”