IRS Commissioner: We’ll Deal With Obamacare Even Though Congress Has Withheld Funding Request

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday his agency is not getting the funding it needs to help consumers sift through new Obamacare requirements during next year’s filing season.

The commissioner said the Obama administration asked lawmakers for $430 million in fiscal 2014, including $300 million need to build out systems that would let the IRS administer premium tax credits and enforce the provision in the health overhaul that requires Americans to hold insurance.

“No portion of this request was funded,” he told the House Ways and Means Committee.

Nonetheless, he said, the agency will forge ahead with the mandate Congress gave it through the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Mr. Koskinen said many Americans will do “little more than check a box” on their tax forms in early 2015 because they hold health insurance in one form or another.

The health care law’s “individual mandate” requires Americans to hold health insurance unless they qualify for an exemption or a hardship. For instance, the lowest cost health plan on the new exchanges may be unaffordable for some people.

People who received government subsidies on the new health exchanges will have to calculate and claims their subsidies on new tax forms.

Mr. Koskinen said IRS has released a draft version of the forms, and it is trying to get the word out on its website and through social media.

“And yet, we still anticipate an increase in calls,” he said, before reciting his concerns about funding.

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