Obamacare is giving a big boost to the tax and accounting industries and lawyers because of its blizzard of new laws and regulations.
H&R Block and other tax preparation firms are expected to hire extra staff, according to The Fiscal Times, and certified public accountants and data management firms stand ready to help businesses with record keeping. And lawyers, of course, know a good legal thing when they see it.
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Littler Mendelson, the largest U.S.-based law firm used by companies for benefits and labor law, "knew big money was to be made" with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, The Times reported.
Steven Friedman, co-chair of the law firm's employee benefits practice group, said, "We're advising hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of businesses. We're working with employers to determine if there are strategies they can employ to somehow mitigate the effects of the law ... and we're coming up with some innovative solutions."
Tax professionals are key elements of the Obamacare machine, in part because the IRS is taking the lead role in enforcement of the new government-mandated health law.
The IRS will determine whether people qualify for a health insurance premium tax credit, and will levy fines on individuals and businesses who fail to comply with its provisions, The Times explained. Under the law, the IRS will collect a $95 penalty on those without insurance, and businesses with more than 50 workers must provide health insurance or face a $2,000 per-person fine.
H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb said the company "has begun to invest in resources and technology that we expect will enable us to roll out initiatives this year that will benefit our clients."
The tax preparation industry had $9 billion in revenue in 2012, and "hundreds of millions of dollars or more" could be added to their take with Obamacare, The Times estimated.
The Obama administration is treating the rollout of Obamacare like a grass-roots political campaign, according to Politico.
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The administration has an ultimate goal of enrolling 30 million people in the program. But the initial goal is to sign up only 7 million people during the first October-to-March "open season" enrollment period, Politico reported.
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