On April 15, 2015, Tax Day becomes Mandate Day. For the first time ever in American history, ObamaCare will begin to fine people for living without government approved health insurance.
That’s because ObamaCare created an “individual mandate”, which declared that people will be forced to pay a penalty if they don’t enroll in a health insurance program approved by Uncle Sam. Many Americans were covered under such plans in 2014, but millions were not. One official estimate projects that up to 6 million Americans will be penalized by the individual mandate this tax season.
Since the inception of ObamaCare, the individual mandate has been a thoroughly unpopular feature. It’s hard to forget the day in 2012 when a 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutionality of the individual mandate on the basis that it was a tax, even though the Obama administration incessantly rejected the notion that ObamaCare would raise taxes on the middle class.
If we do indeed take the individual mandate to be a tax, then ObamaCare ironically will raise taxes on the exact people it is supposed to protect. For example, the number one reason why the remaining uninsured did not purchase health insurance in 2014 was because they simply could not afford it – even after ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies. Low-income people are the group being hit hardest by the individual mandate.
A common misconception suggests that the mandate penalty is a trivial sum of $95. In truth, the penalties will be much higher this year, and especially in future years. For example, families being hit this year will owe the greater amount of $95 per uninsured adult (and $47.50 per child) or 1 percent of household income. The penalty increases each year, so that by 2016 the penalty will soar to $695 per adult (and $347.50 per child) or 2.5 percent of household income.
For this reason, the administration seems to be attempting to camouflage the harmful nature of the mandate by changing its name. “Mandate penalty” sounds too aggressive, and a “tax” undermines the President’s image as a “warrior for the middle class.” So now, the proper way to refer to the penalty is the “Individual Shared Responsibility Payment.” Orwell would be so proud.
Applying a cushy definition to an oppressive law cannot change the fact that, for millions of Americans, this Tax Day is going to be even more unpleasant than usual. And as long as ObamaCare remains as the law of the land, every Tax Day will be a Mandate Day.
ObamaCare will make filing a tax return an even more frustrating, complex process:
Americans already spend some 6 billion hours and $168 billion each year complying with a complex and onerous tax code. But ObamaCare is going to make tax filing even more of a chore for consumers who received subsidies for health plans purchased through the state and federal exchanges.
Tax filing season will be extraordinarily difficult for many who received subsidies for which they weren’t eligible. But just filing a tax return may be a headache, adding to the already complicated process that Americans have come to loathe. Reason‘s J.D. Tuccille points to a CBS Money Watch report that describes the new two-page IRS Form 8962, which anyone who has received subsidies will be required to fill out and submit with their tax return.
“To put the correct figures in several of these spaces, you’ll need to complete charts and worksheets found elsewhere in the 20-page instruction booklet. If you are, say, divorced and sharing expenses with your ex-spouse, you’ll also need to fill out the second page of [Form 8962]. Though this page has just seven lines, there are 37 spaces,” CBS Money Watch explains. “Worse yet, according to the IRS, completing that page requires cooperating and sharing both insurance and tax information with your ex-spouse — not exactly a walk in the park for those with acrimonious splits.”
Not only will it put some filers into extraordinarily awkward spots, the report notes that there is no time estimate for how long it will take for ObamaCare subsidy recipients to fill out the form, but as CBS Money Watch notes, “[e]xperts estimate that someone with a complex situation will spend more time on the 8962 than they will filling out all of their other tax forms combined.”
Calling this “a complex situation” doesn’t begin to do it justice. The New York Times reports that some 800,000 consumers enrolled in health plans through the ObamaCare exchanges “received erroneous tax information from the government.” Form 8962 requires monthly calculations of subsidies received, as well as an annual total. “Consumers can expect to receive corrected data in the first week of March,” the Times noted. “With the new data, officials warned, some taxpayers will owe more and some will owe less.”
Much has already been written about what ObamaCare is in terms of handouts for crony big businesses, including health insurance companies. It would seem that one could add tax preparation services to those that may reap some big gains at filers’ expense.
At the bottom of the first source you will find a link to the second article: