Paul Bedard writing for US News:

The Internal Revenue Service says it will need an battalion of 1,054 new auditors and staffers and new facilities at a cost to taxpayers of more than $359 million in fiscal 2012 just to watch over the initial implementation of President Obama’s healthcare reforms. Among the new corps will be 81 workers assigned to make sure tanning salons pay a new 10 percent excise tax. Their cost: $11.5 million…

In its request, the IRS explained that the tax changes associated with health reform are huge. “Implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 presents a major challenge to the IRS. ACA represents the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years, with more than 40 provisions that amend the tax laws.”

Unsaid: The requests are just the beginning, since the new healthcare program is evolving and won’t be fully implemented until about 2014.

Of course this is a lot less than the 16,000 agents many people were talking about last year. That was a GOP marketing number (similar to the 47 million uninsured the Democrats kept talking about). Then again, as Bedard points out this is just the beginning. No doubt next year’s budget request will show a similar, if not larger, hiring binge at the IRS.

[Note: The image on the main page is a real image taken from the IRS Recruitment Facebook page.]