House Ways and Means Panel to Review IRS and Health Care Law

A House Ways and Means subcommittee will review next week the Internal Revenue Service’s role in the Affordable Care Act. House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, R-LA, said the Sept. 11 hearing would allow a closer examination of the tax agency’s place in the health care law’s implementation.

“In recent years, the Subcommittee has held hearings on the IRS’s budget, its administration of our complex and convoluted tax code, and an estimated $100 billion in taxpayer dollars that have been lost to fraud, waste, and abuse over the past decade. Under President Obama’s health care law, the IRS is now charged with administering much of the health care law. It is imperative that we take a close look at these new duties and consider the impact they will have on the agency and the taxpayers it serves.”

The subcommittee said in announcing the hearing that the health care law contains 47 tax or tax-related provisions, some of which are already in effect and others that will become effective over the next 18 months. “These provisions include, the individual mandate and employer mandate taxes, restrictions on the use of Flexible Spending Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts, a new 3.8 percent tax on investment income, newly-mandated information reporting on health insurance coverage, new taxes on medical devices, a new Medicare payroll tax, the health insurance premium subsidy, and new requirements for tax-exempt hospitals and group health insurance plans,” according to the sucbommitee.

In addition to the overall review of the IRS’ role, subcommittee will consider how the IRS’s new duties under the health care law will affect both taxpayers and the IRS’s core revenue-collection function; the IRS’s progress in implementing various provisions of the health care law, both those that are already in effect and those that are not yet in place; and how the agency will coordinate with other federal departments, state governments, and stakeholders to implement the new tax provisions.

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