Even before news organizations confirmed that Sarah Hall Ingram, who headed the tax-exempt division of the IRS, would lead agency’s implementation of the ACA, Republicans wasted no time trying to link the scandal to the law.
As the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups begins, here’s an explainer to answer the role that the tax-collecting agency plays in the health care law’s implementation.
Q: What role will the IRS play in implementing the Affordable Care Act?
A: The short answer is: a substantial one. In his ruling on the constitutionality of Obama’s health care law, Chief Justice John Roberts that Congress can regulate health care under its ability to tax. That set up the agency to take a lead in implementing the law, along with the Health and Human Services Department. (The Labor Department will also play a role.) There are 47 tax provisions – including the small business health care credit and the medical device tax – that will go into effect. The agency will have to administer those provisions and collect taxes where they’re due.
The agency will also have to determine whether people qualify for a health insurance premium tax credit as part of the minimum coverage requirement. Americans will also have to report their insurance status on their taxes each year, and the agency will have to review that and collect a $95 penalty on those not carrying insurance. Businesses will be required to provide health care to their employees or face a penalty if they do not. The agency will set these rules and collect the penalties when businesses aren’t in compliance.