The Internal Revenue Service will have to work hard to protect the federal tax data sent to the exchanges.

That new challenge is hitting the IRS as tight budgets have forced the agency to implement a hiring freeze, reduce customer service and enforcement activities, and make employees take three unpaid furlough days.

J. Russell George, the inspector general for tax administration at the U.S. Treasury Department, has included those observations in an assessment of the challenges that will face the IRS in fiscal year 2014, which started Oct. 1.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, a senior reporter at ThinkAdvisor and BenefitsPRO, previously was an associate editor at National Underwriter Life & Health. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached through X at @Think_Allison.