Up-to-the-minute advice, information, resources, and, on occasion, commentary on federal and New Jersey state income taxes, and the various New Jersey property tax rebate programs, and insights and observations on tax policy and professional tax practice, by 40-year veteran tax professional Robert D Flach.
brief break from my tax-season posting hiatus to comment on the recent attempt
to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Republicans have proven that they are just as stupid as the Democrats.Obamacare is a mess because the Democrats
wanted an early legislative victory for Obama and pushed through a truly flawed
bill – actually without even reading the bill before voting for it.
And now the
Republicans have followed the Democrat’s lead and rushed to present a flawed
bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, merely to achieve an early victory for
the idiot in the White House.
should have worked in installments – first repealing the specific bad aspects
of Obamacare (as listed below under THE BAD) without affecting current coverage.I doubt there would have been a problem
repealing these items.Then they should
have worked thoughtfully on an appropriate replacement for Obamacare, keeping
the good items.
the Republicans have had 7 years to come up with an appropriate replacement for
Obamacare.More proof that the current
members of Congress are idiots.
Here, in my
opinion, is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Obamacare.
absolute best thing about Obamacare is the advance premium credit.It provides direct assistance to individuals
not covered by employer plans who cannot afford the monthly cost of health
tax credits are always “after the fact” – you must wait until you file your tax
return to get the benefits for the prior year.For example – for the education credits you must wait until February to
April of 2017 to get federal tax aid for tuition paid as early as January of
tuition, and more especially with health insurance premiums, you actually need
the money provided by the tax credit at the “point of purchase” – when you must
actually pay for the tuition or the premiums – and not a year later.
the good things about Obamacare is the requirement that “pre-existing
conditions” are covered.
many bad things about Obamacare.
1.The penalty for not having
“adequate” health insurance coverage.Individuals should not be forced to purchase a certain degree of
coverage by being financially penalized for not doing so.And employers should not be forced to provide
health insurance for employees, and be financially penalized for not doing
so.There should be no “shared
2.The requirement that individuals
must purchase health insurance through the official Obamacare Marketplace in
order to get the advance premium credit.An individual who purchases qualifying health insurance directly from an
insurance company, at probably a slightly lower premium, cannot get the needed
premium assistance to which he or she would otherwise be entitled to based on
income.This is totally unfair and
unjust.Individuals should be allowed to
purchase whatever is determined to be “adequate” insurance directly from
whichever provider they choose, and then go to a government health care website
to apply for the advance premium credit, which would be applied to reduce the
monthly premium charge, or apply for the credit with the insurance company at
the same time they apply for coverage.
3.The Obamcare NIIT and Medicare
“surtaxes”.I firmly believe that taxing
the “wealthy” simply because they can supposedly afford it is NOT the answer to
4.The various restrictions and
penalties on certain types of employer health care benefits, such as the
so-called “Cadillac plan” and health care reimbursement programs.
5.The other “nickel and diming”
charges, surtaxes, and penalties used to fund Obamacare.
worst thing about Obamacare, and about the recent Republican replacement
option, is age-weighted premiums.This
is a new concept.
Obamacare health insurance premiums became much more expensive for older
Americans, and cheaper for younger ones.I was told the reasoning behind this was to encourage young taxpayers
just starting out to buy health insurance, and maintain coverage, by making it
In reality it
is the younger Americans, just starting out and without any family and mortgage
expenses, who are, in many cases, more able to afford to pay for health insurance
- while older Americans not yet eligible for Medicare coverage often find
paying for insurance difficult, especially with substantially higher age-based
calculation of premiums should return to the way it was done before Obamacare,
with older Americans not unfairly and improperly excessively charged.
I hope that
the idiots in Congress will actually do something about fixing THE BAD and THE
UGLY of Obamacare at some point this year.
to pass along this information from the National Association of Tax
“Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Granted Extension
The IRS has granted businesses
affected by this week’s severe winter storm additional time to request a
six-month extension to file their 2016 federal income tax returns. The IRS is
providing this relief to victims and tax professionals affected by this week’s
storm (known as Winter Storm Stella) that hit portions of the Northeast and
Business taxpayers who are unable to
file their tax return by today’s due date (March 15, 2017) can request an
automatic extension by filing Form 7004 on or before March 20, 2017. Form 7004
provides a six-month extension for returns filed by partnerships (Forms 1065
and 1065B) and S corporations (Forms 1120S).
Eligible taxpayers taking advantage
of this relief should write “Winter Storm Stella” on their Form 7004 extension
request (if filing Form 7004 by paper).”
Tax Filing Season (February 1 through April 18) is now half over!
completed and put in the mail 116 sets of returns during the first half of the
season.Given I completed 229 returns
before calling it quits on April 17 last year I have done slightly more than
half that number already.And the 2nd
half actually has a little more work time (despite losing an hour this Saturday night) – since I will have less days “on the
the IRS has announced that actual returns filed are down from last year at this
time – that is certainly not the case with me.I
have only a handful of “red files” (need more info) and only a handful
of returns received in February to complete.And the “to be done” box is not as full as it usually is at this time.
payments are also slightly up from the same time last year.
So all is
going smoothly – and hopefully it will remain smooth and I can end the season
with a minimum amount of GD extensions!
I am ahead
of last year (in completing returns, but, unfortunately, not in fee
collections).I have completed 90 sets of returns during
the first month of the tax season - more than completed the same time last
year!Many of the returns I completed in
late March and early April last season have already been done.
either heard from, made arrangements with, or completed the returns of over
half of my client mailing list.
The “to be
done” box is not as full as it usually is this time of the season.And I have only 3 “red-files” (need more
I have been
“behind closed doors” Monday and Tuesday (and, of course, today, as it is
Wednesday), with the phone turned off.It has been wonderful, but I guess I will have to plug the phone back in
on Thursday morning.
been no problems to deal with, neither with computer and equipment issues, the
weather, or actual tax return issues.
the season continues to run smoothly – and I can end the season with minimal GD