KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law’s Medical Device Tax Falls Short Of Revenue Target

An IG report concludes that the Internal Revenue Service continues to face problems implementing this tax, including difficulties in identifying the companies that owe it.

The Hill: Report: Medical Device Tax Missing Revenue Mark
A tax imposed on medical devices included in the Affordable Care Act is raising roughly three-quarters of the revenue originally expected, according to a new government report. The watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service reported Tuesday that the tax collection agency was still facing problems implementing the medical device tax included in the 2010 healthcare reform law. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said the IRS needs to continue to tweak its compliance rules for the tax, identifying several mistakes when it came to collecting money owed the government (Schroeder, 8/19).

The Associated Press: Audit: Obamacare Medical-Device Tax Not Meeting Revenue Target
An Obamacare tax on medical devices is falling short of its revenue target because thousands of companies aren't paying it, according to a government audit released Tuesday. The audit by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration says the IRS needs to do a better job policing the tax. The tax agency, however, doesn't have adequate tools to identify which companies owe it, the audit said. The report could add fuel to efforts to repeal the tax, which is opposed by Republicans and many Democrats (Ohlemacher, 8/19).

Politico Pro: TIGTA: IRS Fumbles Medical Device Tax
The IRS needs to beef up its enforcement of a medical device tax imposed as part of Obamacare, an IRS watchdog said on Tuesday. The agency doesn't know how many companies are subject to the 2.3 percent levy, and those that are sometimes either pay too much or too little, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. What's more, the IRS wrongly issued hundreds of penalties for companies failing to pay, the report said (Weinger and Faler, 8/19).

The Fiscal Times: How the IRS Is Botching Obamacare Tax Collection
The Internal Revenue Service is struggling to collect a new tax that's critical to financing the president's health care law – and auditors say the IRS's flawed collecting process is allowing it to raise only three-quarters or so of the revenue that was originally expected. A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) flags the enforcement of the medical device excise tax, one of a handful of new taxes imposed under the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act's excise tax – equal to 2.3 percent of the sales price of medical devices – took effect in January and is estimated to bring in about $20 billion through 2019, the Joint Committee on Taxation has said (Ehley, 8/20). 

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