When ObamaCare passed into law, it gave the IRS vast new powers since the agency will now be the official gatekeeper for complying with the individual mandate. Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal:
The Internal Revenue Service won’t audit you to make sure you have purchased health insurance under provisions of the new health-care law-but it may withhold your tax refund if you can’t demonstrate that you are insured, an IRS official said Thursday.
Steven T. Miller, IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, made the comments during a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. He echoed earlier comments by IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman that questions about health coverage won’t in and of themselves lead to an IRS audit.
“There are tools we can use. We obviously will be notifying folks [for whom there is no record of health insurance] that we have these questions,” said Mr. Miller. “We have a refund offset mechanism in order to enforce that provision.”