IRS Chief: Agency Ready for New Health Law, Budget

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The Internal Revenue Service commissioner told a House subcommittee Wednesday that the agency needs additional funds to make up for spending and personnel cuts over the past two years.

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told the House Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee that the agency will use $639.3 million in fiscal year 2013 to restore lost resources.

The agency’s proposed fiscal 2013 budge totals $12.8 billion.

Shulman said the IRS has become more efficient in the past two years and saved $1 billion over three years from reducing outside contracts, training and non-case related travel.

The agency has lost nearly 5,000 employees through buyouts, attrition, a hiring freeze and employee resignations.

Shulman told lawmakers that despite the smaller workforce, the agency doubled its ranking in the “Best Places to Work in Federal Government” survey.

Oversight Committee Chairman Charles Botany Jr. (R-La.) expressed concerns as to whether the IRS has sufficient resources to enforce changes resulting from the Affordable Health Care Act.

The IRS is ready to implement the new healthcare plan, according to Shulman’s testimony.

Shulman said that the IRS has installed information technology systems for healthcare implementation through an earlier authorization.

The IRS workforce has been balancing its time between effectively enforcing compliance and providing taxpayer service, Shulman said.

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