NEW DEVELOPMENTS March 2016
Obama Care Penalty Exemptions
For taxpayers who didn’t have health care insurance in 2015, they may be eligible for waiver of the penalty which is $325 person ($162.50 for each child under age 18). Exemptions are for:
(1) taxpayers who can’t afford to pay the premium. This applies if the Read More
• Flat dollar amount penalty
• Percentage of income penalty
• Household income
• Modified adjusted gross income
• Tax filing threshold
The penalty for not having minimum essential health insurance for yourself and other members of your tax family takes a substantial jump in 2015. For 2014, the penalty was the greater of the flat dollar amount ($95 for each adult plus $47.50 for each child under Read More
Our health care system is too complex. I am not only referring to the numerous tax provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), but the system itself. For example, if you have health insurance, do you know what it covers, how costs are computed, how insurance companies and the medical profession make money?
On March 4, the US Supreme Court heard oral argument in King v Burwell on whether individuals who obtained health insurance through the federal exchange (because their state did not establish its own exchange), are entitled to a Premium Tax Credit (PTC). The PTC provision in the Code (Section 36B) makes reference to state exchange. The Administration interprets that as also meaning a federal exchange. Millions of individuals have obtained (in 2014) and are currently obtaining for 2015, a PTC to help pay for Read More
In filing our 2014 tax returns, we will all have to answer a new question (line 61 on the 2014 Form 1040) – did you and everyone in your family (spouses and dependents on the return) have health coverage for every month of 2014. If anyone was lacking coverage for any month, they must next determine if they meet an exemption. If they do not, they owe the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (penalty). One of the exemptions that many people might qualify for is that the health insurance available to them was unaffordable. If the employer offered coverage, you look at the cost of that coverage (cost less what employer contributes to that cost). If the employer did not offer coverage, you look at what the cost of coverage would have been in the Marketplace (Exchange). If you would have been eligible for a Premium Tax Credit (Section 36B), you must reduce that cost of Marketplace coverage Read More
With just weeks remaining before the new tax season opens, Congress walloped the IRS with $341 million in budget cuts. That’s in addition to earlier slashes to the IRS budget of more than $1 billion since 2010, resulting in nearly 13,000 employee layoffs.
Is that a wise choice or an act of spite toward an unpopular agency?
Congress touted that the cuts are much needed but to others it looks like something else – revenge. You see many in Congress are still fuming about this year’s earlier tax-exempt organization scandal and those missing Lerner emails. There are other members of Congress that are angry about reports of wasteful spending. And still there are other members of Congress that see this as a great opportunity to keep IRS from properly implementing pieces of the Affordable Care Act – yes, the same Act that Congress pushed Read More
A few people have already pointed out this oddity in the Affordable Care Act including National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson in her 2013 Annual Report to Congress. Her excerpt notes that in determining if a person had affordable health coverage available to them from an employer, the measure is whether the self-only lowest cost coverage available to the employee costs 8% or less. It doesn’t matter if the family coverage offered by the employer is affordable. The relevance is that the family members won’t qualify for a Premium Tax Credit.
That seems odd if no “affordable” coverage was offered to the rest of the family. Isn’t that the point of the Affordable Care Act? To help make coverage affordable to everyone? Read More
As an astute navigator of the Internal Revenue Code over the last decade or so I’ve been asked by media heads for my opinions on the Affordable Care Act. Even though I have many to offer the fact of the matter is the deeper I get into the compliance reporting abyss the less sense it seems to make. The following four quotes I can hang my hat:
“For sure the ONLY thing we can rely on, barely, seems to be TITLE 26 and the best place to start your journey in these regards is with the Department of Health & Human Services.”
“The IRS is implementing the tax provisions of Affordable Care Act – and the 2014 filing season is shaping up to be a N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E! So be nice to our friends who work in bureaucracy, we are all in this together.” Read More
On Friday (11/7/14), the US Supreme Court granted cert in King v. Burwell, 759 F.3d 358, No. 14-1158 (4th Cir., 7/22/14). This is the case where the court found the IRS regulations allowing individuals to claim a premium tax credit (PTC), even if they obtain coverage on a federal exchange rather than a state exchange. In contrast, in Halbig v. Burwell, 758 F.3d 390, No. 14-5018 (DC Cir., 7/22/14), a divided court found the IRS regulation invalid. The King and Halbig decisions were issued on the same day in July.
In September 2014, the Eastern District Court of Oklahoma issued a decision, State of Oklahoma v. Burwell, No. CIV-11-30-RAW (ED Ok, 9/30/14), finding the regulations invalid.
The DC Court of Appeals vacated its July decision, agreeing to hear the case en banc. Read More
Under the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), individuals who purchase health care coverage through an exchange and whose income is under certain amounts will be eligible for tax credits. Form 8962 will be used to enter any advance credits received and amounts entitled to for the current tax year. The net amount (credit entitled to less the advance credit) is then entered on a separate line on the back of Form 1040 or 1040A. Taxpayers who claim the credit cannot file Form 1040 EZ (for AGI less than $100,000 and do not itemize and don’t have any dependents) but must file Form 1040 or 1040A. If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to:
• Get it now: have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums. Read More
The 2010 Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) (“Obama Care”) provided that taxpayers who elect not to be covered by health insurance will be subject to a penalty starting in 2014. The penalty will be paid when their federal tax return is filed. There are some exceptions when the penalty will not apply. Taxpayers who purchase coverage through an exchange will receive Form 1095-A reporting the monthly health care premiums paid and any advance premium credit payments.
This article will discuss the penalties, penalty exceptions and tax forms required to report.
In 2014, this will be $95 per adult and $48 for each child under age 18. The maximum Read More
My friend, confidant, mentor and expert in the procedural ramifications of ObamaCare, Debbie Nash of D. Nash & Associates, got to talking with me about some of the nuances of this legislation and our discussion quickly digressed into what the definition is of a ‘Full Time Equivalent’ (FTE) employee for IRS tax purposes. One of many reasons I appreciate time together with Debbie is our electrifying and challenging conversations. She keeps me on my toes continually pushing me to be a more astute student of the Internal Revenue Code.
After deliberate debate and further review it quickly became apparent to me that part of this precedent setting legislative action is to simply create long term jobs for the legal industry simply because there are so many unanswered questions. One on the menu today is how Read More
The IRS addressed in its Health Care Tax Tip 2014-04 the question of whether a taxpayer owes an “Individual Shared Responsibility Payment” to be paid with the 2014 tax return filed by April 15, 2015.
Do I owe it? And if so, how much do I owe?
The short answer is that for any month in 2014 that a taxpayer or any of a taxpayer’s dependents do not maintain health care coverage and do not qualify for an exemption from having health care coverage, then the taxpayer will owe an “individual shared responsibility payment” with your 2014 tax return filed in 2015.
What is the “less than three-month gap” exemption/exception?