Tuesday, October 6, 2015
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ – TUESDAY EDITION
* Grace-Marie Turner addresses another ridiculous component of Obamacare that is not really included in the actual law in “Small Businesses Threatened With $36,500 IRS Fines For Helping Employees With Health Costs” at FORBES.COM (highlights are mine) –
“The new IRS penalty is more than 18 times greater than the $2,000 employer-mandate penalty under ObamaCare for not providing qualifying health insurance for employees. And employers with fewer than 50 workers are not exempt, as they are from the employer-mandate penalty.
The rule appears nowhere in the Affordable Care Act but was developed by the Obama administration’s regulation writers at the IRS.”
There is hope -
“Rep. Charles Boustany has introduced legislation in the House (H.R. 2911) and Sen. Charles Grassley, in the Senate (S.1697) to remedy the problem. Both bills await congressional action.”
Unfortunately, as we all know too well, “congressional action” is indeed a rare thing.
* A recent CCH Headline News email reported “No Easy Fix to Overpayments of EITC, Finance Panel Hears”.
The item discussed a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing “to examine solutions addressing overpayments of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), as well as with Medicare and Medicaid, whose oversight is conducted by the committee”.
Regarding the Earned Income Tax Credit (highlights are mine) -
“The GAO found that, in fiscal year 2014, the IRS reported program payments of $65.2 billion for the EITC. The IRS estimated that 27.2 percent, or $17.7 billion, of these program payments were improper. Dodaro told lawmakers a root cause of EITC noncompliance is that eligibility is determined by taxpayers themselves or their tax return preparers and that IRS’s ability to verify eligibility before issuing refunds is limited.”
It is very clear, at least to me, that the Earned Income Tax Credit, perhaps the largest federal welfare program, does not belong in the Tax Code. Federal welfare should not be distributed via the 1040 (or 1040A). And tax preparers should not be forced to become Social Workers. Refundable credits in general are a magnet for tax fraud. How many times do I have to say it - we need to completely rewrite the Tax Code and remove the distribution of federal welfare and other social benefits from the tax return!
* Joe Kristan, CPA discusses Health Savings Accounts at the beginning of his “Tax Roundup, 10/2/15: What Your Health Savings Account Can Do That Your IRA Can’t. And: They Don’t Stay Bought” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG.
* Kay Bell lists the “4 Tax Tasks to Take Care of by Oct. 15” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* And Kay correctly announces that it is “Time to Make your Flexible Spending Account Choices: Workplace Benefits Open Seasonf or Child Care and Health FSAs”.
THE LAST WORD –
To be truly successful a democracy needs an intelligent and informed electorate that possesses common sense.
Unfortunately that is not necessary the case here in the US.
Anyone who seriously supports the person of Donald Trump for President, rather than just agreeing, wholly or partially, with some of his spewings, is neither intelligent nor informed, nor in possession of common sense.