POLITICS
06/01/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Republican IRS Expansion Claims 'Wildly Inaccurate'

With April 15 approaching, conservative hysteria about an alleged hidden cost of health care reform -- a small army of new IRS agents -- is gaining traction. One problem: Those claims are "wildly inaccurate".

As FactCheck amply documents, the new health care law specifically forbids the IRS to enforce criminal penalties against taxpayers who violate the individual mandate and doesn't allow for standard IRS collection techniques like liens. Plus, the IRS won't be double-checking health insurance certifications provided with tax returns.

Individuals without health insurance in 2014 face an added tax, and that's all -- nothing that requires the "16,500 new agents" that conservatives now claim the IRS needs to recruit.

That claim appears to have originated with a report released by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, stretching the rough estimates of Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf as far as possible and then basing the final number on a series of false assumptions.