WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It was announced Tuesday that the State of Indiana and 15 school corporations filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies. The lawsuit questions whether the IRS can impose penalties related to the costly "employer mandate" of the Affordable Care Act onto state and local governments and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he wants an interpretation from the courts.
"We thought we would bring this declaratory judgment, so that we can ask the courts, and this is a respectable claim, 'Can you help us interpret, so I can give my clients the right information because right now, we just don't know what it means,'" Zoeller said.
The "employer mandate" states that an employee who works 30 hours or more has to be covered under full-time employee benefits. As political subdivisions of the state, Zoeller said school corporations are faced with reducing the hours of their part-time employees in order to avoid financial penalties from the IRS under that "employer mandate."
"Part-time workers that really help our schools, all throughout Indiana they're going to have to change the way they manage that workforce due to an IRS rule," Zoeller said.
In 2010, Zoeller's office joined the 26-state legal challenge to the constitutionality of the newly-passed Affordable Care Act. The United States Supreme Court in June of last year ruled that it was constitutional under the taxing authority of the federal government. Zoeller stands by the fact that states don't pay federal taxes and the federal government doesn't pay state taxes.
"We're a state government which is sovereign and we're just not used to being taxed into compliance,” said Zoeller.
According to Zoeller, the 15 school corporations are represented by the same law firm, working with his office.
The Benton Community School Corporation is one of the districts involved in the lawsuit. Superintendent Destin Haas told News 18 he's been advised not to comment on the lawsuit, but he and the school board supported it 100 percent.
Aside from the new IRS regulation, Greg Zoeller is warning Hoosiers of fraudulent schemes associated with the Affordable Care Act.
He said there have been calls from Florida requesting information from people who have either enrolled online or attempted to enroll online.
He said the people behind the fraudulent scheme will say they didn't get all the information needed because of the computer glitches when open enrollment started on Oct. 1.
Zoeller said you should never receive a call.
"We see that you tried to log on and we're now here to help you. Well, they won't call you. If you receive a call, that should be the dead giveaway," he explained.
Zoeller said if you have questions, you should see a navigator.
He said also be cautious of links on Web sites. He said if it doesn't say “.gov” at the end, it's not one you should go to.
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