H&R Block, the largest retail tax preparation firm in the U.S., warns that the Affordable Care Act is “likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014,” the Daily Caller reported.
“Now that the Affordable Care Act has made healthcare a tax issue, no one can understand it,” says the tax-preparation giant, which has more than 24 million tax clients worldwide.
Many of those who will be hurt are lower-income earners. According to H&R Block’s Tax Institute, almost three out of every four in this group are unaware of the fact that they need to file anything with the IRS due to the fact they receive insurance through Obamacare.
Former IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said the new Obamacare requirements will deliver a “shock to the system.”
“Low-income filers are not used to itemizing and it will be a big challenge for them,” he told the Daily Caller. “You’re introducing a whole new level of complexity.”
Some Obamacare users will find that their refunds are smaller than expected because they were penalized for failing to enroll in a federally approved health insurance plan. Other users may find out that they have to repay the U.S. government for subsidies they received to pay their health insurance premiums because they failed to accurately predict how much money they would make in 2014.
Complying with the new Obamacare tax code will prove complicated. IRS Publication 5187, which tries to explain to taxpayers how to comply with the new Obamacare regulations, is 21 single-spaced pages long, the Daily Caller noted.
To prove that they were entitled to subsidies, one of the additional documents Obamacare recipients will have to fill out is IRS Form 8962. Mark Jaeger of the software company Tax Act says Obamacare recipients will “most definitely” be confused by this form.
“If they’re trying to do it on their own … and do it by hand, that’s going to be pretty difficult for the user,” Jaeger said.
IRS Form 8965 is what taxpayers who did not have a federally approved health insurance plan need to use for the 2014 tax year in order to calculate their penalty, which the IRS refers to as an “individual shared responsibility payment.”
To accomplish this, Form 8965 requires taxpayers to first calculate their income “threshold,” and detail it for every month of the year.
Taxpayers should not expect much help from the IRS in figuring this out. The agency will be able to handle less than half of taxpayer calls, CNN Money reported earlier this month.
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