The White House is Preparing for the Obamacare Tax

Over the past few weeks, I’ve already covered the troubles people could face with the upcoming Obamacare tax if they don’t register for health insurance by February 15th. Obviously, the White House is aware of this, and they understand well just how angry the upcoming tax could make people. The Obama administration’s solution? Dole out more exemptions! From the New York Times:

Obama administration officials and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act say they worry that the tax-filing season will generate new anger as uninsured consumers learn that they must pay tax penalties and as many people struggle with complex forms needed to justify tax credits they received in 2014 to pay for health insurance.

The White House has already granted some exemptions and is considering more to avoid a political firestorm.

But the article does not stop there. The Times make sure to note just how complicated this tax filing season will be:

Timothy S. Jost, an expert on health law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law who supports the Affordable Care Act, said: “It will be very easy to find people who are unhappy with the new tax obligations — people who have to pay a penalty, who have to wait forever to get through to somebody at the I.R.S. or have to pay back a lot of money because of overpayments of premium tax credits.”

Taxpayers normally report income and compute taxes annually. But the health care law is different. Consumers may be subject to tax penalties for any month in which they had neither insurance coverage nor an exemption.

The calculations will be relatively simple if all members of a household had coverage for every month of 2014. They can simply check a box on their tax return. But lower-income people often have changes in employment, income and insurance. If any members of a household were uninsured in 2014, they must fill out a work sheet showing coverage month by month, and they may owe penalties.

To claim tax credits, consumers need to fill out I.R.S. Form 8962, which includes a matrix with 12 rows and six columns — a total of 72 boxes, to compute subsidies for each month of the year.

And of course, as the article notes, the federal government has authorized over 30 different types of exemptions from the Obamacare tax, not including any new ones they might add in the future. At some point, you have to wonder if anyone will end up paying the penalty.

Figuring out your taxes is never an easy process, but Obamacare has clearly taken a painstaking process and made it an excruciating one. If you haven’t signed up for health insurance already, now is the time to do so if you wish to avoid the upcoming tax penalty. Whether you’re considering getting your insurance, make sure your Congressmen and Senators know that you want Obamacare repealed in its entirety.