IRS ac­cept­ing com­ments on changes to Form 990 rules

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

The In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice said it will briefly ac­cept com­ments about changes to the Form 990 that were prompted by the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act. The agency will take com­ments through May 16 on new re­port­ing re­quire­ments to mon­i­tor how hos­pi­tals com­ply with new cri­te­ria for how not-for- profit hos­pi­tals may main­tain their tax breaks. The Amer­i­can Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion, which has crit­i­cized the agency for fail­ing to seek public com­ment on changes, has urged fed­eral of­fi­cials to re­vise the changes to elim­i­nate “re­dun­dan­cies, inconsistencies” and “oner­ous re­port­ing re­quire­ments.” But the agency’s re­quest for com­ment did not fully sat­isfy the trade group. Melinda Hat­ton, AHA se­nior vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral coun­sel, called the five-day com­ment pe­riod an “un­ex­plained short turn­around” and “puz­zling” in the trade group’s daily news­let­ter. The ACA re­quires hos­pi­tals to pub­li­cize fi­nan­cial aid poli­cies; limit charges to low-in­come pa­tients; hold off on “ex­tra­or­di­nary” col­lec­tions be­fore ver­i­fy­ing whether pa­tients qual­ify for aid; and con­duct a com­mu­nity-needs as­sess­ment ev­ery three years. Ques­tions re­lated to the re­quire­ments are in­cluded on the Form 990 for tax year 2011, though re­port­ing on com­mu­nity needs is vol­un­tary. The IRS said it is seek­ing com­ment on whether in­for­ma­tion it will col­lect is nec­es­sary and use­ful. It will also take com­ment on the bur­den cre­ated by re­port­ing; ways to en­hance the qual­ity, util­ity and clar­ity of in­for­ma­tion; ways to min­i­mize the bur­den of col­lec­tion; and any start-up or cap­i­tal cost es­ti­mates.

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