NFIB Sebelius Roberts


ishment a “tax.”  See Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co., 259
U. S. 20, 36–-37 (1922); Department of Revenue of Mont. v.
Kurth Ranch, 511 U. S. 767, 779 (1994).

 The Anti-Injunction Act and the Affordable Care Act,
however, are creatures of Congress’’s own creation.  How
they relate to each other is up to Congress, and the best
evidence of Congress’’s intent is the statutory text.  We
have thus applied the Anti-Injunction Act to statutorily
described “”taxes”” even where that label was inaccurate.
See Bailey v. George, 259 U. S. 16 (1922) (Anti-Injunction
Act applies to “”Child Labor Tax”” struck down as exceeding
Congress’’s taxing power in Drexel Furniture).

 Congress can, of course, describe something as a penalty
but direct that it nonetheless be treated as a tax for pur-
poses of the Anti-Injunction Act.  For example, 26 U. S. C.
§6671(a) provides that “”any reference in this title to ‘’tax’’
imposed by this title shall be deemed also to refer to the
penalties and liabilities provided by”” subchapter 68B of
the Internal Revenue Code.  Penalties in subchapter 68B
are thus treated as taxes under Title 26, which includes
the Anti-Injunction Act.  The individual mandate, how-
ever, is not in subchapter 68B of the Code.  Nor does any
other provision state that references to taxes in Title 26
shall also be “”deemed”” to apply to the individual mandate.

 Amicus attempts to show that Congress did render the
Anti-Injunction Act applicable to the individual mandate,
albeit by a more circuitous route.  Section 5000A(g)(1) spec-
ifies that the penalty for not complying with the man-
date “”shall be assessed and collected in the same manner
as an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter
68.””  Assessable penalties in subchapter 68B, in turn,
“shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as
taxes.”  §6671(a).  According to amicus, by directing that
the penalty be “”assessed and collected in the same man-
ner as taxes,”” §5000A(g)(1) made the Anti-Injunction Act
applicable to this penalty.


The Government disagrees.  It argues that §5000A(g)(1)
does not direct courts to apply the Anti-Injunction Act,
because §5000A(g) is a directive only to the Secretary of
the Treasury to use the same “ ‘”methodology and proce-
dures’” ” to collect the penalty that he uses to collect taxes.
Brief for United States 32-–33 (quoting Seven-Sky, 661
F. 3d, at 11).

 We think the Government has the better reading. As
it observes, “”Assessment”” and “”Collection”” are chapters of
the Internal Revenue Code providing the Secretary author-
ity to assess and collect taxes, and generally specifying
the means by which he shall do so.  See §6201 (assess-
ment authority); §6301 (collection authority).  Section
5000A(g)(1)’s command that the penalty be “”assessed and
collected in the same manner”” as taxes is best read as
referring to those chapters and giving the Secretary the
same authority and guidance with respect to the penalty.
That interpretation is consistent with the remainder of
§5000A(g), which instructs the Secretary on the tools he
may use to collect the penalty.  See §5000A(g)(2)(A) (bar-
ring criminal prosecutions); §5000A(g)(2)(B) (prohibiting
the Secretary from using notices of lien and levies).  The
Anti-Injunction Act, by contrast, says nothing about the
procedures to be used in assessing and collecting taxes.

  Amicus argues in the alternative that a different section
of the Internal Revenue Code requires courts to treat the
penalty as a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act. Section
6201(a) authorizes the Secretary to make “”assessments of
all taxes (including interest, additional amounts, additions
to the tax, and assessable penalties).”” (Emphasis added.)
Amicus contends that the penalty must be a tax, because
it is an assessable penalty and §6201(a) says that taxes
include assessable penalties.

  That argument has force only if §6201(a) is read in
isolation. The Code contains many provisions treating
taxes and assessable penalties as distinct terms.  See,  e.g.,