Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Will Tax Season Be Obamacare's Next Big Challenge? Is There Really an Individual Mandate?

Will tax-filing season be the next reason for consumers to complain about the new health law? Come tax time, will the Obama administration really enforce the individual health insurance mandate?

The IRS is out with a 21-page publication––Publication 5187––describing what taxpayers need to know about Obamacare in order to file their 2014 taxes.
On page six you will find this:

So, if the taxpayer checks the box on line 61 "no further action is required"––no proof of insurance needs to be furnished. Presumably, the taxpayer is subject to an audit––from an understaffed IRS suffering from more budget cuts.

What happens if you don't check box 61? You have to pay the tax for not having health insurance.

Anyone who doesn't check that box can apply for an exemption from the individual mandate.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "The instructions for completing the mandate exemption form run 12 pages, list 19 types of exemptions (with multiple codes), and include worksheets that may require individuals to go to their state exchange's Web site to find the monthly premiums that will determine whether they had access to 'affordable coverage."

For the last year we have heard that a taxpayer that got too large a subsidy will have to pay the excess back––and a taxpayer that got too little will get a refund. How will this be reconciled? The directions for doing this fill up pages 10 to 15 in IRS Publication 5187 and explain how Form 8962 must be prepared.

Anyone who got an Obamacare insurance subsidy in 2014 must complete Form 8962. Here below is Form 8962.

Luckily, the President never said, If you like your Form 1040EZ you can keep your Form 1040EZ!

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