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IRS Expects 11 Million Taxpayer Calls Linked to Health Care Law

In visit to Indy, commissioner warns of changes on next year's tax forms

The commissioner of the IRS is bracing for a flood of taxpayer questions about the federal health care law.

John Koskinen met with IRS employees in Indianapolis, the latest in a series of visits to agency field offices. He says next year's 1040 will have a check box to indicate whether you have health insurance. Those who don't will have to calculate the penalty, while a form is still in development for those who receive tax credits against their premiums.

The IRS estimates the law will generate 11-million additional calls to its help lines next year. Koskinen says there's no money in the budget to add staff, so taxpayers should expect longer waits. He says the agency is hoping to reduce the volume of calls by putting information on its website, posting to social media, and reaching out directly to tax preparers.

Koskinen says he supports the work of an outside inspector general in reviewing the disappearance of emails from Lois Lerner, the former administrator at the center of allegations conservative groups were subjected to extra scrutiny when seeking nonprofit status. But he says people shouldn't assume something sinister -- he says the agency has had two-thousand hard-drive crashes already this year.

Koskinen took over as commissioner last year in the aftermath of the controversy. He says the IRS has already implemented recommendations made then by the inspector general, and will abide by the findings of a report on the missing emails expected later this month.

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