Expand TIN Matching Program to Avert Another ACA Debacle

Tax Notes

In this article, Michael Lloyd and S. Michael Chittenden discuss the expansion of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxpayer identification number (TIN) matching program, which has been used by many filers to reduce information reporting errors. The authors make the case for immediate expansion of the TIN matching program to prevent additional problems with the Affordable Care Act roll-out and explain steps the IRS can take to immediately expand the program. "There are compelling efficiency and enforcement reasons to expand the program, including significant improvements in the reliability of identifying information reported on other types of information returns," the authors said.

Many filers do not currently possess correct TIN information and may receive tax penalty notices unnecessarily under the current scope of the TIN matching program. The authors said it's exasperating that problems could be prevented by expanding the TIN matching program. "Nearly all health insurers already use the existing program and want to use the program for this new purpose," Lloyd and Chittenden said. This article explains the functioning of the program and explains why the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS legally have the authority to expand the program now.

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Expand TIN Matching Program to Avert Another ACA Debacle