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  • Side Effects: IRS Could Eat Your Refund

    Obamacare requires all individuals to carry health insurance for themselves and their families.  Those who don’t will have to pay a penalty.  And the IRS is the agency charged with making sure the uninsured pony up.

    Just how will the IRS do that?  It’s not something lawmakers got around to actually, you know, writing down in any detail in that big bill.  That’s even harder to do than reading that monster.  But now that they’ve made Obamacare the law of the land, they’re starting to take an interest in the question. No doubt some are blaming the daily eruptions on congressional staff.

    The Senate Finance Committee recently held a hearing to explore what the IRS might do to enforce the congressional mandate to buy health insurance.  One answer headlined the Wall Street Journal’s report on the hearing: IRS May Withhold Tax Refunds to Enforce Health Care Law.

    Steven T. Miller, IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, explained that, though “The Internal Revenue Service won’t audit you to make sure you have purchased health insurance under provisions of the new health-care law…it may withhold your tax refund if you can’t demonstrate that you are insured.”

    According to the Journal, if the IRS does not receive notification that a taxpayer has insurance, the agency will notify the taxpayer that he or she must pay a tax penalty.  Then, if the penalty payment does not arrive, the IRS may withhold tax refunds due to the filer.  But ,then, what happens if the taxpayer doesn’t have a refund coming?

    Of course, as Obamacare increases the tax agency’s power, it will also increase its payroll. Heritage Tax Policy Analyst Curtis Dubay noted on FOX Business Network:

    [The IRS will]… be in charge of enforcing the individual mandate that we all have health insurance.  They’re also going to be in charge of making sure businesses provide health insurance for employees. So they’re going to have to add lots more workers.

    In Washington, it seems, you can’t spell health insurance without I-R-S.  That’s a shame, because Congress could have dramatically expanded private health insurance without resorting to an unconstitutional mandate.  To learn about far better alternatives (hint: auto enrollment in employer-based insurance and a universal tax credit system, for starters), go here.

    Vivek Rajasekhar currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/About/Internships-Young-Leaders/The-Heritage-Foundation-Internship-Program

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Side Effects: IRS Could Eat Your Refund

    1. Tim AZ says:

      This could be a good thing. Now people will have an incentive not to overpay on their taxes making them keenly aware of just how much they pay in taxes. The question then becomes will the IRS wait until a sufficient amount is owed and repossess everything you own? It is highly likely that Mao-Bama care will be repealed if not reduced to another useless voluntary government program that withers on the vine long before any individual owes enough in health care premiums to trigger such an action.

    2. Vivek says:

      Unfortunately, Tim, many of these provisions do not go into effect until 2013, including the individual mandate (I believe). So the President and Democrats and this law itself will be largely insulated from political pressure.

    3. Ross writes from Bra says:

      Over ten years ago, Neil Boortz told a story on his radio program about how a stranger found a way of capturing almost all the wild hogs in the Okfeenokee Swamp by using corn and while slowly and unintrusively building an entrapment fence. The first victims were the young, going after the free corn, then others followed with the old wiry ones last after taking months before the trap was finally sprung. He trapped 90% of the animals which he intended to sell to slaughter houses.

      The American Statist both Democrats and Republicans, have been building that fence around our freedoms and liberties in the name of good intentions(the corn) since Woodrow Wilson and FDR. There are now few opens in the fence to liberty and independence left for us. Now Obama has designated the IRS as the slaughter house for individual liberties . I'm old and trust any government about as far as I can throw my car unassisted. I do not plan to participate but to retain my liberty as best I can. I pray for the day when the federal govenment will go back to what it was design to do for me; guard the shores, regulate commerce between states, deliver the mail, and KEEP THE HELL OUT OF MY LIFE. That the state government does what it is suppose to do: promote freedom and prosperity for the good of the state and keep the federal government out of state business. Finally for local government to maintain minimal non-union police and fire protection, repair the roads, oversee sanitation, water, and think economy, economy, economy. Also all levels government get out of the education and healthcare business. Finally I dream and pray all levels of government will again be the servants of the taxpayers, not their ruler.

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