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AP Chuckles: IRS Will Police You On Obama-Care

From a bemused Associated Press:

The tax man cometh to police you on health care

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER | Sat, Jul 7, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of President Barack Obama’s health care law will come home to roost for most taxpayers in about 2½ years, when they’ll have to start providing proof on their tax returns that they have health insurance.

That scenario puts the Internal Revenue Service at the center of the debate, renewing questions about whether the agency is capable of policing the health care decisions of millions of people in the United States while also collecting the taxes needed to run the federal government

Yes, that is the question on everyone’s lips. ‘Will the IRS be up to the job of policing Obama-Care?’

The changes will require new regulations, forms and publications, new computer programs and a big new outreach program to explain it all to taxpayers and tax professionals. Businesses that don’t claim an exemption will have to prove they offer health insurance to employees.

The health care law "includes the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years," according to the Treasury inspector general who oversees the IRS. The agency will have to hire thousands of workers to manage it, requiring significant budget increases that already are being targeted by congressional Republicans determined to dismantle the president’s signature initiative

Which is a detail we have never heard reported before. But now that it is the law and has been upheld by the Supreme Court, the AP feels it is safe to bring up such things.

Those who don’t get qualified health insurance will be required to pay the penalty — or tax — starting for the 2014 tax year, unless they are exempt because of low income, religious beliefs, or because they are members of American Indian tribes.

As we have noted before, Obama-Care provides exemptions for to American Indians, Muslims, Christian Scientists, the Amish, and other groups ‘as the Secretary shall determine.’

Have their ever been exemptions from taxes like this before? And where do we go to convert or to join Elizabeth Warren’s tribe?

The penalty will be fully phased in by 2016, when it will be $695 for each uninsured adult or 2.5 percent of family income, whichever is greater, up to $12,500. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 4 million people will pay the penalty that year

Both of these numbers a laughable. For one thing the tax will have to be hiked to pay for all it is supposed to pay for. For another thing, a lot more people will refuse to buy insurance if they can just pay the penalty until they get sick and then can force insurance companies to take them anyway.

The law, however, severely limits the ability of the IRS to collect the penalties. There are no civil or criminal penalties for refusing to pay it and the IRS cannot seize bank accounts or dock wages to collect it. No interest accumulates for unpaid penalties.

Don’t worry. This will be very quickly remedied.

So how can the IRS enforce the mandate? Scary letters and threats to withhold tax refunds.

The law allows the IRS to withhold tax refunds to collect the penalty, and most filers get refunds. This year, 77 percent of the 135 million individual income tax returns processed by the IRS qualified for a refund. The average refund: $2,707

Will this tax ever be withheld from people receiving ‘Earned Income Credit’? Just kidding. Of course it won’t be.

The IRS has not yet issued procedures for taxpayers to prove they have insurance. But IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, in a 2010 speech, said he envisioned a process similar to the one used by taxpayers to report interest or investment income.

Under this scenario, an insurance company would send the taxpayer and the IRS forms each year verifying that the taxpayer has qualified insurance. Taxpayers would file the forms with the IRS along with their returns, and the IRS would check them to make sure they match the information supplied by the insurance companies…

But asking for identification to vote is a violation of privacy.

The IRS is expected to spend $881 million on the law from 2010 through 2013, hiring more than 2,700 new workers and upgrading its computer systems. But the IRS has not made public information about its spending plans in the following years, when the bulk of the health care law takes effect…

In 2010, House Ways and Means Committee Republicans issued a report saying the IRS may need as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents and other employees "to investigate and collect billions in new taxes from Americans."

That assessment has been widely cited by opponents of the law. The IRS disputes the jobs number but hasn’t offered another one

Probably because the final number is going to be much higher.

Still, remember how people on our side were mocked for citing this 16,500 figure?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 9th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “AP Chuckles: IRS Will Police You On Obama-Care”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Rumor Central has it that the IRTS is training to use Scientology “auditing” techniques on citizens who refuse ObamaCare.

    My source is 99.99% on target when things get passed along to me.

    And what do I read this morning but that Black Muslims under Farrakhan are endorsing Scientology as a responsible black man’s way out of the traps set by White Satanic Christians

    The trap is closing

  2. untrainable says:

    The solution is simple. When Romney is elected, he should stand behind the podium in the Rose garden, put on his sternest evil republican “hater face”, and tell America, “In light of the new executive powers that have been taken by the previous commander and chief… I have decided that the government, on the basis of my words alone, will not be upholding or prosecuting the Affordable (HAH) Care act… or O’Dumbass Care” as it has been called. We will not fund it. We will not implement it. We will not prosecute it. And we will not stop until it has been wiped completely from the books. Dismantling will begin today. All you 26 year old leaches out there… Leave your poor parents alone… Get a friggin’ job, and buy health insurance for your damned selves. If you have a pre-existing condition, you will pay higher premiums. If you’re a bad risk, it’ll be harder for you… BECAUSE YOU’RE A BAD RISK.

    Life isn’t fair, and government can’t make it so. No matter what liberal, progressive, communist, fascist, bullshit you’ve been listening to. Government can’t make life fair. Build a bridge and get over it.

    I’ve been to the doctor 3 times in the last 30 years. Inner ear infection, tennis elbow, and gall bladder surgery. If I had all the money I’ve put into health insurance over the same period, I would still be way ahead. Yet now, I am expected to be not only my brother’s keeper, but his healthcare payer too. What’s fair about that?

    The thing that troubles me the most is that the government treats healthcare as if it ais a cure for death. You can have all the healthcare in the universe but sooner or later you’re going to die. Accident, illness, twist of fate, or just old age, but you’re going to die no matter how much healthcare you have. Let me propose something that nobody in government has proposed. A single payer system where the person recieving the service, PAYS THE BILL. If you get care but have no insurance, you get a bill from the hospital. If you have risked illness without insurance, being hit with the bill is the price of that risk. That’s how America used to work. Let’s go back to the successful policies of the past and forget about all this progressive tripe. Pretty simple, and nothing on the books to date is any more fair.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      Crazy thinking, but it just might work! My wife broke her arm a few years ago and had no insurance. It was expensive, but here is what happened. She received treatment (destroys the poor uninsured will die without ocare argument) and the received a bill (takes away the freeloader argument) and was able to set up a payment plan to pay it off which we did even with our income being pretty humble (which takes away the its too expensive argument).

      Health care in America is fine. Healthcare is an imaginary mess created by the media and certain politicians trying to regulate one of the most vital, productive, effective, ingenuitive and lucrative facets of American commerce.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Same here. 1999. Went off the roof, broke both arms. Went the hospital, received care, set up a payment plan, retired that bill in a year.

      OTOH, that same hospital just charged a friend for a cortisone shot … one shot, that’s all …. $2,000. That was in addition to what they billed Medicare.

  3. Astravogel says:

    The Power to Tax is not only a power to destroy, but a power to control.

  4. canary says:

    GetBackJack, The IRS will also know all your employment and tell you your illness was caused from employment and make it so your injuries and sicknesses are paid for.

    The changes in private insurance have been so drastic, aside higher prices, and adding they won’t pay if it’s job related, etc. and Medical facilities and Dr.s charges doubling in spite of nurses doing more jobs doctors use to use, and having to pay for the computerization for Obama Care; it’s done too much harm already.

    What has Mitt said about Obama Care.

    My cable that just skyrocketed and on top of that took FOX and put it on a higher package, leaving CNN
    with Politico dissing Mitt Romney.

    So, Romney needs to be aware of this, that a very large portion of Americans do not get FOX anymore.

    I wonder if my cable company was black mailed.

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