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. The IRS warned that everybody must have health insurance or pay the tax.
“While the vast majority of tax filers — over three quarters — will just need to check a box on their tax return indicating they had health coverage in 2014, people who have coverage through the Marketplaces, or decided not to enroll in coverage, should be aware of some additional steps that will be a part of the tax filing process starting this year,” said the Department of Health and Human Service, which runs the Affordable Care Act.
The IRS form gives multiple examples of how much those without insurance, either through Obamacare or employers, owe in their “shared responsibility payment.”
For example, a single male earning $40,000 a year would owe $298.50.
Individual Shared Responsibility Provision
What is the individual shared responsibility provision?
For each month of the year, the individual shared responsibility provision calls for individuals to:
● Have qualifying health care coverage (also called minimum essential coverage), or
● Qualify for an exemption from coverage, or
● Make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing their federal income tax return
Individuals are treated as having minimum essential coverage for the month as long as the individuals are enrolled in and entitled to receive benefits under a plan or program identified as minimum essential coverage for at least one day during that month.
Who must have health care coverage?
In general, all U.S. taxpayers are subject to the individual shared responsibility provision. Under the provision, a taxpayer is potentially liable for him or herself, and for any individual the taxpayer could claim as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. Thus, all children generally must have minimum essential coverage or qualify for a coverage exemption for each month in the year. Otherwise, the primary taxpayer(s) (e.g., parents) who can claim the child as a dependent for federal income tax purposes will generally owe an individual shared responsibility payment for the child.
Senior citizens must also have minimum essential coverage or qualify for a coverage exemption for each month in the year. Both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage) are minimum essential coverage.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.