In a nutshell.

Take comfort in knowing that, just as you only try to follow federal tax law “whenever you can,” the agency that collects and enforces those same laws is right there with you.

What? You always follow federal tax law because you don’t have much of a choice? Never mind then — the IRS hasn’t got anything in common with you.

At a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing today, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the panel the IRS sometimes does what the law prescribes. “Whenever we can, we follow the law,” said Koskinen, prompting a quick retort from Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), according to The Hill: ““I encourage you to follow the law in all instances.”

Koskinen’s remarks came amid a barrage of questions about how the IRS will manage to ensure that everyone who’s required to report their healthcare coverage information to the agency this tax season will provide accurate information. It’s a crucial point: The Obama administration has missed the mark repeatedly in assurances about deadlines, premium costs, the security of patient information and the expediency of incorporating insurance verification into the annual tax-filing gauntlet.

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