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Ryan Ellis

Obamacare's Top Five Worst Tax Hikes on Women and Families


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013, 4:06 PM PERMALINK


As part of their newly-launched public relations offensive, the White House and congressional Democrats are tromboning the supposed benefits of Obamacare for women and families. Left unmentioned is the fact that Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on the American people – the top five worst tax hikes on women and families are listed below:

1. Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Tax:  The 30 - 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face a new Obamacare cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap.) Now, a parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces will find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars. 

Needless to say, this tax will especially impact middle class families.

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  Nationwide there are several million families with special needs children and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families. 

2. Obamacare High Medical Bills Tax: Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI.  Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income.

According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. Almost all are middle class. The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 - $400 per year. To learn more about this tax, click here. 

3. Medicine Cabinet Tax. This tax increase is already in effect. Since January of 2011, Americans have not been able to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines from their Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts. Women often rely on over-the-counter medicines to get themselves and their families through the colds, fevers, and aches and pains of daily family life. To raise taxes on busy Moms makes absolutely no sense.

4. Obamacare Individual Mandate Non-Compliance Tax:  Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services -- must pay an income surtax to the IRS. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that six million American families will be liable for the tax, and as pointed out by the Associated Press:  “Most would be in the middle class.”

Americans liable for the surtax will pay according to the following schedule:

 

1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults

2014

1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285

2015

2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

 

5. Obamacare 10 Percent Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning: This Obamacare tax increase has the distinction of being the first to go into effect (July 2010). Slipped into the bill by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) behind closed doors in the middle of the night, this tax hike replaced the planned Obamacare “Botax” on cosmetic surgery.  This petty, burdensome, nanny-state tax affects both the business owner and the end user.  Industry estimates from the Indoor Tanning Association show that 30 million Americans visit an indoor tanning facility in a given year, and over 50 percent of salon owners are women.  There is no exception granted for those making less than $250,000 meaning it is yet another tax that violates Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of tax on Americans making less than this amount.

Making matters worse: According to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report, the Obama IRS didn’t bother to issue compliance guidelines until three quarterly filing deadlines had passed:  “By the time [IRS] notices were issued, tanning excise tax returns had been due for three quarters."  This is yet another sign that the Obama administration is ill-prepared for Obamacare implementation.

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Dropped Coverage Subjects More Americans to Obamacare's High Medical Bills Tax


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, 2:16 PM PERMALINK


As millions of families are facing cancellation of their health insurance plans due to Obamacare, many will be subject to higher-than-anticipated out of pocket medical costs. Unfortunately this coincides with an Obamacare income tax increase starting in tax year 2013 which makes these higher medical bills more difficult to bear.

The Obamacare law contains 20 new or higher taxes. Even before news of the widespread insurance plan cancellations, IRS data indicates ten million middle class families with high medical expenses would find themselves paying higher income taxes thanks to the so-called Obamacare High Medical Bills Tax, a provision that took effect on Jan. 1, 2013. According to IRS data, the average family subject to this new tax makes just over $53,000 and will face an income tax increase of between $200 - $400 per year.

Background:  Americans have long been allowed to deduct out of pocket medical expenses as an itemized deduction on their taxes. They cannot have already benefited from other tax provisions for health care like tax-free employer-provided care or tax-free accounts like flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. (A full list of qualified expenses can be found in IRS Publication 502.)

Before this tax hike provision took effect, the taxpayer would total all unreimbursed, out-of-pocket medical expenses and then subtract from this figure an amount equal to 7.5 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI). This subtraction amount is known commonly as a "haircut."

According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. They deducted $80 billion in medical expenses after applying the “haircut.”  The Office of Management and Budget reports that this tax deduction saves these taxpayers upwards of $10 billion annually.

Obamacare's tax hike:  The Obamacare law made one change to this tax provision: it raised the "haircut" from 7.5 percent of AGI to 10 percent of AGI. Since virtually all taxpayers claiming this income tax deduction make less than $200,000 per year, the income tax hike falls almost exclusively on the middle class:

-Virtually every family taking this deduction made less than $200,000 in 2009. Over 90 percent earned less than $100,000.

-The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earns just over $53,000 annually.

-ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family subject to the new tax will be $200 - $400 per year.

-This income tax increase is focused on families with the largest medical bills that weren't covered by insurance. So the target population is low-and-middle-income families with debilitating medical costs.

According to the Joint Tax Committee, this tax increase is scheduled to raise between $2 billion and $3 billion annually.

The tax is a clear violation of President Obama's "firm pledge" in 2008 to not enact "any form of tax increase" on these families.

The number of Americans subject to this tax will undoubtedly rise due to the crush of Obamacare-induced insurance cancellations. President Obama and his Democrat congressional allies have some explaining to do.

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IRS Watchdog: $67 Million Missing from Obamacare Slush Fund


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013, 5:10 PM PERMALINK


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released today. 

The “Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund” (HIRIF) was tucked into Obamacare in order to give the IRS money to enforce the tax provisions of the healthcare law.  The fund, totaling some $1 billion of taxpayer money, was used to roll out enforcement mechanisms for the approximately 50 tax provisions of Obamacare. 

According to the report:  “Specifically, the IRS did not account for or attempt to quantify approximately $67 million [from the slush fund] of indirect ACA costs incurred for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2012.”

The report also found several other abuses of taxpayer funds, including:

Travel abuse:  The report states, “Specifically, we identified 38 IRS employees in two judgmentally selected business units whose travel was charged to the HIRIF in FY 2012, but no portion of their salary and related benefits was charged to the HIRIF.” In short, the IRS was not making sure that employee travel reimbursements had anything to do with the purpose of the fund. This is not the first time that IRS employee travel has created a scandal for the agency.

1,272 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents: The report estimates that total slush fund spending cost taxpayers the equivalent of 1,272 new full time IRS agents.

The IRS requested an additional 859 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents for Fiscal Year 2013: According to the report, “The IRS informed us that it requested $360 million and 859 FTEs for FY 2013 to continue implementation of the ACA. However, the IRS did not receive this requested amount for FY 2013.”

To add insult to injury, the IRS has told the Inspector General that it will comply with the recommendations made in the report; unfortunately, the slush fund has been fully spent, making that promise meaningless.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Medical Device Tax


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Friday, August 23rd, 2013, 4:02 PM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Manufacturers of medical devices like pacemakers, crutches, and prosthetics face a new 2.3% gross receipts tax under Obamacare.  That means they have to pay the tax even in a year where they lose money.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Saver Surtax


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013, 12:01 PM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare imposes a 3.8% surtax on investment income for super-saver families.  As a result, the top capital gains and dividends rate is now nearly 24%.

 

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Slacker Mandate


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Monday, August 19th, 2013, 4:40 PM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare says that health insurance companies are forced to cover “children” up to age 26.  Like Peter Pan, Jay and Silent Bob never have to grow up.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: "Indoor Tanning Tax"


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013, 5:12 PM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review

.

This Obamacare tax increase has the distinction of being the first to go into effect (July 2010). Slipped into the bill by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) behind closed doors in the middle of the night, this tax hike replaced the planned Obamacare "Botax" on cosmetic surgery.

This petty, burdensome, nanny-state tax affects both the business owner and the end user.  Industry estimates from the Indoor Tanning Association show that 30 million Americans visit an indoor tanning facility in a given year, and over 50 percent of salon owners are women. 

There is no exception granted for those making less than $250,000 meaning it is yet another tax that violates Obama's "firm pledge" not to raise "any form" of tax on Americans making less than this amount.

Making matters worse: According to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report, the Obama IRS didn't bother to issue compliance guidelines until three quarterly filing deadlines had passed:  "By the time [IRS] notices were issued, tanning excise tax returns had been due for three quarters." This is yet another sign that the Obama administration is ill-prepared for Obamacare implementation.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Payroll tax Hike


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013, 5:36 PM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare raises the top Medicare payroll tax rate from 2.9% to 3.8%.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: High Medical Bills Tax


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Thursday, August 8th, 2013, 12:24 PM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review. 

Americans have long been allowed to deduct out of pocket medical expenses as an itemized deduction on their taxes. They cannot have already benefited from other tax provisions for health care like tax-free employer-provided care or tax-free accounts like flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs). A full list of qualified expenses can be found in IRS Publication 502.

After totaling all unreimbursed, out-of-pocket medical expenses, the taxpayer must then subtract from this figure an amount equal to 7.5 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI). This subtraction amount is known commonly as a "haircut."

According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. They deducted $80 billion in medical expenses after applying the “haircut.” The Office of Management and Budget reports that this tax deduction saves these taxpayers upwards of $10 billion annually.

The Obamacare law made one change to this tax provision: it raised the "haircut" from 7.5 percent of AGI to 10 percent of AGI. Since virtually all taxpayers claiming this income tax deduction make less than $200,000 per year, the income tax hike falls almost exclusively on the middle class:

-Virtually every family taking this deduction made less than $200,000 in 2009. Over 90 percent earned less than $100,000.

-The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earns just over $53,000 annually.

-ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 - $400 per year.

-This income tax increase is focused on families with the largest medical bills that weren't covered by insurance. So the target population is low-and middle-income families with debilitating medical costs. That's a good definition of the opposite of “affordable” or “caring.”

According to the Joint Tax Committee, this tax increase is scheduled to raise between $2 billion and $3 billion annually. That may be a drop in the bucket in Washington DC, but try telling that to the $53,000 family with high medical bills that just saw a tax increase.

The tax is a clear violation of President Obama's "firm pledge" in 2008 to not enact "any form of tax increase" on these families.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Red Tape Tax Credit


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013, 9:31 AM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare creates a tax credit for small employers to comply with Obamacare.  There’s only one problem—the tax credit is so complex, the IRS and CBO report that no one is using it.

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