The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seems to be heaping even more new tax return paperwork on nonprofit hospitals than Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) nonprofit hospital tax provisions require, according to a witness from a group that represents nonprofit hospitals.
Michael Regier, a senior vice president at VHA Inc., Irving, Texas, gave the nonprofit hospitals views on new IRS Form 990 rules for tax-exempt hospitals at a recent hearing on tax-exempt entities organized by the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee.
VHA represents about 1,400 nonprofit hospitals and 23,000 other types of nonprofit health care organizations.
Before Congress passed PPACA, judicial decisions and IRS administrative rulings provided most of the guidelines that governed tax-exempt community hospitals, Regier said, according to a written version of his testimony posted by the committee.
Since 1969, community hospitals that wanted tax-exempt status had to meet standards such as providing charity care, maintaining an emergency room open to all persons, regardless of those persons’ ability to pay, and making medical staff privileges available to all qualifying physicians.
Congress included new tax-exempt hospital rules in PPACA in an effort to provide more specific rules and more oversight by Congress and the IRS, Regier said.
In 2009, before PPACA passed, the IRS began requiring hospitals to send it information about their community benefit activities and expenditures on Form 990 annual information returns they filed with the IRS, Regier said.
In PPACA Section 9007(a), Congress created new requirements for nonprofit hospitals seeking federal income tax exemptions under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3).