if some folks want to remain uninsured, it could be tough for the Internal Revenue Service to get the penalty. That’s because Congress did not give the agency the authority to prosecute those who don’t pay, a power it does wield over those who don’t pay their income taxes, said Jay Angoff, a partner at Mehri & Skalet law firm who worked on health reform in the Obama administration.
Those who are owed money could see their refunds docked by the penalty amount. Others, however, will likely just get nasty letters.
“The penalties have little teeth,” Angoff said. “Congress didn’t give the IRS too much power.”