IRS Commissioner Returned for 2023 Tax Summit

March 13, 2024

UNC School of Law welcomed alumnus and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Danny Werfel ’97 back to campus as the keynote speaker for the 2023 Tax Summit. This marked a proud homecoming for Commissioner Werfel and a continuation of Carolina Law’s tradition of both tax excellence and public service. 

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Danny Werfel ’97 and Professor Kathleen Thomas

The now annual Tax Summit is a joint educational conference between Carolina Law and the Kenan-Flagler Business School, offering accountants and tax attorneys the opportunity to earn continuing professional education credits and continuing legal education credits, respectively. With expert speakers covering state, local, and federal tax policies and implications, the 2023 Summit provided a “valuable opportunity to network, share ideas, and discuss cutting edge tax law and policy developments,” according to Professor Kathleen Thomas, George R. Ward Term Professor of Law, and Director of UNC School of Law Tax Institute.

For Commissioner Werfel, the invitation to give the keynote address provided a meaningful chance to give back to the Carolina Law community that set him on his path to leadership. “Having Commissioner Werfel deliver the keynote address at the 2023 Tax Summit was an honor and a highlight for our alumni, current students, and faculty,” Thomas remarked. During his visit, the Commissioner made time for students and alumni, understanding the importance of reaching the next generation of tax attorneys and accountants. 

He joined Thomas in teaching one of her tax classes, taking questions from several students. He also joined students for lunch, provided career advice, and discussed the structure and decision making processes of the IRS. The Commissioner’s address during the summit delivered on its high expectations, offering Carolina Law alumni like Peter “PJ” Klein ’19 practical insights to apply in his tax law practice. “The Tax Summit was a great experience. It taught critical insight not only from a theoretical perspective, but a practical one as well,” Klein said.   

Klein went on to share that it was a privilege to learn agency updates in person from the IRS Commissioner, an opportunity with real world value for those working in the tax field. He would “absolutely recommend the Tax Summit to other tax colleagues,” noting that the “speakers were extremely qualified” on the latest tax policies and implications.  

In returning to speak at his alma mater, Commissioner Werfel honored the Carolina Law legacy that helped pave his way to leading the IRS. From its annual Tax Summit bringing together experts across tax fields to renowned professors like Thomas equipping the next generation, Carolina Law continues to cement itself as a leader in tax law and policy. The Carolina Law community was proud to call Commissioner Werfel one of its own, welcoming him back as both the nation’s top tax person and a fellow Tar Heel. For Commissioner Werfel, it marked a chance to share his knowledge and experiences with those just starting out on their journeys through tax law. 

This article originally appeared in the February 2024 issue of Carolina Law magazine.