Congress grills IRS on hospital tax-exemptions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has delayed some of its reporting requirements for not-for-profit hospitals, spurring some queries from Congress about the agency's actions, reports The New York Times.

The IRS has postponed a requirement regarding the reporting of charity care. Although the American Hospital Association had lodged complaints regarding the mandate, IRS officials indicate that impending federal healthcare reform was behind the decision.

Meanwhile, the agency also has delayed implementing rules in order to comply with the 2006 Pension Protection Act, which would require greater payouts from organizations that support non-profit ventures, including hospitals. That has prompted House Ways and Means Committee member Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) to ask the IRS how it is conducting hospital oversight, and what progress it has made in tightening regulations regarding charity care and philanthropy.

"We need to get a general sense of what's going on in this whole sector of the economy," Boustany said. "Ways and Means hasn't looked at it for some time, and I'm really trying to take the role of oversight very seriously."

To learn more:
- here's The New York Times article
- read Rep. Boustany's letter