IRS Says It Needs $490 Million More to Implement Obamacare

The IRS on Tuesday told Congress it would like an additional $490.4 million in the next fiscal year to implement the Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare.

“This additional funding, the majority of which is for required information technology upgrades, will allow the IRS to increase efforts to ensure compliance with a number of tax-related provisions of the ACA, including the premium tax credit and individual shared responsibility provision,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in prepared remarks to a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday. “The funding will provide enhanced technology infrastructure and applications support, and allow necessary, major modifications to existing IRS tax administration systems.”

“A portion of the funding also addresses new audit requirements related to the employer shared responsibility provision,” he added.

The Obama administration has warned for months that Obamacare will complicate the tax returns of thousands of people who buy insurance under the law. For example, the law gives people discounts when they buy health insurance if their income is low enough, but the IRS is charged with assessing people’s actual income at the end of the year to see whether they received the right amount of subsidy. In many cases, people are discovering they have to repay some of the subsidies they received.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case dealing with whether the Obama administration improperly interpreted the law to allow for billions of health insurance subsidies to be handed out to millions of people. Republicans are already pondering legislation to help people if the court finds those subsidies are not allowed.