A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Taxes"

Richard Pollock: BOMBSHELL: IRS Has Active Contract For MILLIONS With Company HHS FIRED Over Botched Healthcare.gov

The Daily Caller
Thu, 2015-01-22
Seven months after federal officials fired CGI Federal for its botched work on Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, the IRS awarded the same company a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program. CGI is a $10.5 billion Montreal-based company that has forever been etched into the public’s mind as the company behind the bungled Obamacare main website. After facing a year of embarrassing failures, federal officials finally pulled the plug on the company and terminated CGI’s contract in January 2014. Yet on Aug. 11, seven months later, IRS officials signed a new contract with CGI to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, a federal government procurement database. The IRS contract is worth $4.46 million, according to the FPDS data. The contract expires Aug.

H&R Block: ‘No One Can Understand’ New Obamacare Tax Code

The Daily Caller
Wed, 2015-01-21
Posted By Richard Pollock H&R Block, the nation’s largest retail tax preparation company warns that the newly released Obamacare tax code, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014. “Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it,” H&R Block flatly tells taxpayers in a video that resides on its dedicated Obamacare web site. A former IRS Commissioner agrees, and cautions that the new tax requirements will be a “shock to the system,” especially afflicting low-income earners who have never itemized on their tax return. The tax preparation giant — with 24 million tax clients worldwide — reports that the Obamacare tax rules now constitute “the biggest tax code change in the last 20 years.” The company is so concerned, it has launched a high profile national television advertising campaign directed solely at Obamacare enrollees.

Reforming Obamacare: Start With the Young

Real Clear Politics
Wed, 2015-01-21
After the lofty promises that led to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, young people are waking up to how much the law targets them with higher costs. Yes, those lucky enough to be covered on their parents' health plans can postpone the consequences until they are 26. But for the rest, the situation is grim: Young people face disproportionately high costs to pay for coverage and a crushing burden of taxes that could impede their future prosperity. Young people 20-35 constitute about 20 percent of America's population, but they represent 46 percent of the uninsured -- and, according to an analysis by Manhattan Institute scholar Avik Roy and colleagues, a 25-year-old male living in California and earning just $29,000 a year pays more than $1,140 more per year for health insurance due to the ACA.

Need help filing out your tax return? Don't call the IRS

Yahoo
Thu, 2015-01-15
WASHINGTON (AP) — Filing a federal tax return is about to get more complicated for millions of families because of President Barack Obama's health law. But they shouldn't expect much help from the Internal Revenue Service. Got a question for the IRS? Good luck reaching someone by phone. The tax agency says only half of the 100 million people expected to call this year will be able to reach a person. Callers who do get through may have to wait on hold for 30 minutes or more to talk to someone who will answer only the simplest questions. "Taxpayers who need help are not getting it, and tax compliance is likely to suffer over the longer term if these problems are not quickly and decisively addressed," said a report Wednesday by agency watchdog Nina E. Olson. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says budget cuts are forcing the agency to reduce taxpayer services and other functions.

Obamacare Problems? Now in Hands of IRS

Town Hall
Wed, 2015-01-14
Bruce Bialosky Deluged with catastrophes, court challenges and criticism, Obamacare (ACA) has had a controversial life to date. Yet it is ready to enter a completely new phase where the implementation gets shifted to the Internal Revenue Service – America’s favorite three words. If you liked the health care plan up to now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. 2010 was actually the first year that the IRS was involved in Obamacare enforcement. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit went into effect with this filing year. You may remember I wrote that there was mass resistance to this credit by the tax-preparer community. We could not figure out how to get the credit for our clients while at the same time keeping the cost of preparing the paperwork lower than the actual credit being received by our clients.

Millions of Obamacare enrollees have to fill out tax forms

The Mercury
Wed, 2015-01-14
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press WASHINGTON — If you’re among the millions of consumers who got financial help for health insurance last year under President Barack Obama’s law, better keep an eye on your mailbox. The administration said Monday it has started sending out tax reporting forms that you’ll need to fill out your 2014 return. Like W-2s for health care, they’re for people who got health insurance tax credits provided under the law. Because this is the first time Americans will experience the complex connections between the health care law and taxes, there’s concern that some people may not realize the new forms are important, and that they do need to open that envelope. Some consumers may not know what to do with the paperwork. Called 1095-A, the forms come filled out with information from HealthCare.gov or your state’s insurance exchange.

Need Help From the I.R.S.? You May Need More Patience This Year

New York Times
Wed, 2015-01-14
Services to taxpayers are likely to drop to their worst levels since 2001, when the Internal Revenue Service first started measuring its performance, the agency’s taxpayer advocate said in her annual report released on Wednesday. Five years of budget-cutting have “brought about a devastating erosion of taxpayer service, harming taxpayers individually and collectively,” wrote Nina E. Olson, who leads the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office within the I.R.S. Ms. Olson warned that in the current fiscal year — as new filing requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act go into effect — the agency might end up answering fewer than 43 percent of the more than 100 million phone calls it expects to receive from taxpayers. Callers who manage to get through are expected to be on hold for an average of 30 minutes.

Implementing Health Reform: FAQs On Taxes And The ACA

Health Affairs Blog
Wed, 2015-01-14
In the next few days, consumers who enrolled in qualified health plans through the marketplaces in 2014 will begin receiving IRS form 1095-As from the marketplaces, be they the federally facilitated marketplaces (FFMs) or state-operated marketplaces. The form 1095-A is the form that provides individuals who have enrolled in qualified health plans through the marketplaces the information they need to fill out form 8962, which in turn is the form enrollees will need to reconcile the advance premium tax credits (APTC) they received in 2014 with the premium tax credits they were actually entitled to. The marketplace also reports the information on the 1095-A to the IRS. On January 12, 2015, HHS released a series of frequently asked questions about the 1095-A at its REGTAP website, which are reviewed below.

21 pages of Obamacare tax instructions, IRS demands 'shared responsibility payment'

The Washington Examiner
Mon, 2015-01-12
The complicated process of signing up for Obamacare is now being matched by IRS instructions to help Americans figure out how much in healthcare taxes they owe Uncle Sam. The agency has issued 21 pages of instructions, complete with links to at least three long forms and nine tip sheets. It is geared to those who have Obamacare or who owe a fine, dubbed “shared responsibility payment,” for refusing to get health insurance.

What Safer Cars Tell Us About Obamacare

Forbes
Wed, 2015-01-07
”Safer Cars Lead to Drop in Fatalities” trumpets a recent Wall Street Journal headline. Not to be a curmudgeon, but whether this is good news or bad news depends on what it cost to achieve this reduction in mortality. No one disputes that saving lives is a very good thing, but even the richest nation in the world lacks infinite resources. We will never lack opportunities to save lives. But since there are more and less cost-effective ways of achieving this objective, we are best served by policies that move us in the direction of saving lives at the least cost.

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