STUMP » Articles » Obamacare Tax Watch: Tax Form, Tax Form, Who's Got Their Tax Form? » 18 February 2015, 06:03

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Obamacare Tax Watch: Tax Form, Tax Form, Who's Got Their Tax Form?  

by

18 February 2015, 06:03

Well, this is getting uglier than I had expected:

Like the IRS says, if you obtained health insurance coverage through an insurance exchange in 2014, you’ll be receiving one additional form this year: Form 1095-A. Eventually. Maybe. Quite a few on social media are reporting that they haven’t received theirs yet, and as USA Today notes, you can’t file your tax return without it.

Again, this is if you received a subsidy for coverage through one of the Obamacare exchanges. I think (but don’t quote me on this) that if you bought through the exchange, but received no subsidy… no, wait. I’m wrong:

No. 2: You cannot file your taxes without paying attention to health insurance coverage.

Tax filers who obtained coverage through the marketplace cannot file a tax return without the new Form 1095-A, which should arrive soon.

“Please make sure you get your 1095-A before filing,” said Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen in a media call.

The tax filer would need to file an amended return down the road, creating more trouble, if you file without the 1095-A.

If you had health insurance through an employer last year, your health insurance coverage would be reported on your W-2 Form and you’d check a box. About 75% to 80% of tax filers would fall under the just check-a-box arena.

If Form 1095-A is lost, never shows up, or is wrong, taxpayers must contact their marketplace directly. Taxpayers can get information on how to reach the marketplace on HealthCare.gov and IRS.gov/aca.

Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man.

A literary tangent here (I’m fond of those): when I was a kid, I read 1984, and wondered what the big deal was. Newspeak was an interesting concept, but dang, the whole thing was so much work.

Then I read Brave New World, and was scared. (I was scared even more of Fahrenheit 451, but that’s for another time.) This was more believable — using human’s own animal natures against them. (It’s amusing that Aldous Huxley did not believe in Original Sin, as it is all throughout his work… even the genetically-engineered people have it. That’s why the system works so well.)

But still, the world of Brave New World requires a lot of work to keep going — not as much as that of 1984, but still an effort.

Then I saw Terry Gilliam’s Brazil as an adult.

That’s it. That’s the one.

It has all the human desires, a great bureaucracy, and normal human screw-ups that are amplified by said bureaucracy.

Sound familiar?

Back to Obamacare and taxes. I originally thought the reason why you wouldn’t need the form if you got no subsidy is that what’s the big deal? Then I remembered some of those people may actually get their tax credit at tax filing time. And even if you didn’t qualify, well they have to know how many months you had coverage to determine whether to slap you with a tax/penalty.

In any case, most of the people buying through the exchange got subsidies:

Nationwide, an estimated 83% of marketplace enrollees qualify for subsidies, ranging from 13% in the District of Columbia and 35% in Hawaii to 92% in Wyoming and 93% in Mississippi. (Members of Congress and some of their staff obtain coverage through the DC exchange and are not eligible for subsidies, which is why the percentage there is so much lower than in the rest of the country.)

That’s a lot of people who are going to be pissed off. Some of these people, I’m sure, qualify for the EITC. They want to file ASAP.

I have a feeling that it’s going to get worse — the delay may be related to the screwups in these forms California is making – other exchanges may realize it’s worse to send out erroneous forms on time than correct forms late.

And healthcare.gov? I’m curious to see how bad their tax form screw-ups will be.

Here’s one excuse being given:


Oh that’s a good one. They can’t do tax reporting and enrollment at the same time.

Well, they can’t do either one well individually, so I suppose it’s just as well they don’t try to compound on their incompetence.

But it gets even better. Guess what is being extended?

That’s just for those who already started applications before the end of the enrollment period. I mean, the original end of the enrollment period.

But wait when the people who realize the penalty was larger than they expected, and are pissed they can’t enroll.

So watch this space. There will be more.

I hope you don’t have half-a-desk to wrestle yourself.


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