“What this initiative will do over the coming years is make that analysis much more sophisticated. You’ve got to be careful,” Everson said.

One way such a power could be abused is by treating certain segments of the population differently from others along racial or gender lines in terms of tax administration. A recent Stanford University study found that Black Americans can be 4.7 times more likely to be audited than non-Black people, a disparity associated with claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) for low earners.

“Behind the people doing the audits are people who have unconscious bias, so we have to wake people up,” Alice Thomas, an associate professor of law at Howard University, told The Hill in an interview.

“Do you understand that it causes depression? That it has a psychological impact, mania, physical ailments? Black people are physically ill and mentally ill as a result of unconscious bias and racism,” she said.

Werfel noted on Thursday that spirits at the IRS are high now and that the agency is excited to put its new funding to use. Many in the tax world say the stakes for both for Werfel and the country are high.

“This is the only thing in our entire system that every single one of us has to deal with every year. We can’t fire them, we can’t opt out, we can’t hire somebody else,” former IRS commissioner and tax attorney Fred Goldberg said in an interview.

“Please make it work right,” he said.