The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, is in its first year of “shared responsibility payments” as the tax season reaches its highest pitch. Estimates state the current penalty fees for a taxpayer without health insurance amount to about $172, and this number may continue to increase as more tax returns from around the country come in.
Unlike most tax levies, the Obamacare provisions afford plenty of exemptions for eligible taxpayers who do not or cannot carry health coverage for a number of reasons. About 75 percent of taxpayers carried health insurance in 2014, exempting them from the penalty altogether. For the other 25 percent, exemptions based on job loss, religious objections or financial hardship that prohibited them from obtaining health insurance.
An estimated 80 percent of all taxpayers in the US can expect an income tax refund from the government this year, and the shared responsibility levy would be deducted out of the taxpayer’s refund in most cases. The government estimates that 30 million taxpayers will be eligible for exemptions, leaving about 6 million families to pay the shared responsibility payment. However, the government has also indicated that it will not actively pursue people who do not make the required payment.
When examining a case involving tax liens, an attorney might first review the existing body of tax legislation and case law to determine whether the taxation is appropriate and seek out lines of defense against the liens. The attorney may then offer a compromise with the government to reduce the tax bill to something the client can afford to pay. If this fails, the attorney might plead for the client in court.
Source: Yahoo! Finance, “Got $172? That’s the typical Obamacare penalty,” Rick Newman, Feb. 27, 2015