Monday, July 9, 2012

It's Coming: IRS Gets Ready for Obamacare Implementation

Come 2014, you'll have to pay a tax if you're uninsured -- but how exactly it's going to work is still getting sorted out. The IRS isn't sure how many people they'll have to hire, or how much implementation will end up costing:

The changes will require new regulations, forms and publications, new computer programs and a big new outreach program to explain it all to taxpayers and tax professionals. Businesses that don't claim an exemption will have to prove they offer health insurance to employees.

The health care law "includes the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years," according to the Treasury inspector general who oversees the IRS. The agency will have to hire thousands of workers to manage it, requiring significant budget increases that already are being targeted by congressional Republicans determined to dismantle the president's signature initiative.

"Knowing the complexity of the health law, there's no question that the IRS is going to struggle with this," said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. "The IRS wants more resources. Well, we need to start digging down into what are they doing with the resources and personnel."

The number of new employees the IRS will need to hire varies widely, depending on who asks: Republican Congressmen estimate 16,500, but the IRS says this is inaccurate, and that the budget calls for no more than 1,200. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, plans to hold a hearing next week in the hopes of finding a more concrete estimate of what the IRS will need.

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