IRS Launches New ACA Website

The IRS’ new Affordable Care Act website is up and running.  Most of the new content is organized into three main parts: (1) Individuals & Families, (2) Employers, and (3) Other Organizations.

The Individuals & Families page is further broken down into two subtopics designed to educate the public on what they need to consider immediately (in 2013) and what they should look forward to in 2014.  Individuals should explore and begin planning for open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace, which opens October 1, 2013.

The Employers page has a separate set of instructions for small employers (fewer than 50 full-time employees) and large employers (50 or more full-time employees).  It helps to educate employers on their specific coverage and reporting requirements and also explains what employer credits might be available.

Some organizations will be subject to special rules under the Affordable Care Act.  These “other organizations” include insurers, miscellaneous business types, non-profits, and government agencies.

The ACA website features a nifty news bar so we can always stay informed of new developments related to the Affordable Care Act.  It also very neatly lists all the various tax provisions, both in layman’s terms and in the form of news releases, notices, regulations, revenue procedures, revenue rulings, and Treasury decisions for the tax lawyer and studious type.  Lastly, the new ACA website includes links to related federal government websites like the Department of Health & Human Services, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Labor.

What does the Individual Mandate Mean to the IRS?

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to characterize the ObamaCare individual mandate as a tax will have significant repurcussions on efforts to simplify the tax code and the tax collection “business.”  In other words, it’s just going to complicate things.  That’s what happens when domestic policy initiatives are enacted through this nation’s tax laws.  And just as the tax code tends to be the “catch all” for implementing new policy, the IRS has consequently become that agency we constantly turn to for help with enforcing it.  It must be like achieving a new position at work with new responsibilities, but no pay raise!

Under Obama’s health care reform initiative, if you do not purchase health insurance, you will be charged a “tax” that will be enforced by none other than the Internal Revenue Service.  Besides adding complexity to the tax code, this new tax will be adding work to an already overburdened federal agency.  The IRS has been asked to take on new responsibilities before, so there should be no question as to whether or not it will be up for the task.  However, the costs will be staggering.  The IRS will have to implement new procedures, hire new staff, train old staff, and otherwise do what is necessary to enforce the new health care tax.

With more and more people piling up tax debts that they can’t afford to pay, the private tax relief firms may be the only ones that stand to benefit from all this.

IRS to Hire 4,000 New Employees

“[I]t’s a power grab. So even if the ObamaCare gets thrown out those agents will be there to harass us. What we need as a nation is fewer tax collectors and more entrepreneurs. We need tax simplification and these IRS agents should be able to contribute to the economy instead of sucking the blood out of it.

~ Steve Forbes