The Cost Of Health Care Insurance, Taxes and Your W-2

Notice any different about your form W-2? Take a look at Box 12. See anything that wasn’t there last year? The value of health care coverage provided by your employer is now reported in Box 12 with Code DD to identify the amount. The amount reported in the box should include both the portion paid by your employer and any amount paid in by you. So why is this information showing up on your form W-2 now? Under the Affordable Care Act – you may also refer to it as Obamacare or the health care act – most employers must …

IRS Releases Proposed Regs for Health Care Law: Who’s Covered, Who’s Exempt and What Happens If You Don’t Pay?

The IRS has finally released proposed Regulations relating to the requirement to maintain minimum health care insurance coverage under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, as amended (“ACA”). Under the terms of ACA, there is a “shared responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States.” That is government speak for the idea that pretty much everyone is affected, in some way, by the health care act, from states to employees to individuals. When it comes to …

If The Health Care Law Is Really A Tax Law, Is It Doomed on Procedure?

Now that the dust is settling a bit on the SCOTUS decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, questions are starting to come in fast and furious (no, not that fast and furious). One of the most confusing aspects of the decision hinges on the characterization of the mandate as a tax. If that’s true, it’s been reasoned, wouldn’t the introduction of the law by the Senate be a violation of the Constitution? Not exactly. The Senate and the House of Representatives are considered equal when it comes to legislative functions and powers with a few key exceptions. …

Why A Vote on the Medical Device Excise Tax Is The Biggest Deal Ever for Obamacare

You’ve probably never heard of H.R. 436, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011. The bill was proposed by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) just a few months after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more commonly called “the health care reform bill” or alternatively, “Obamacare”) was slated to take effect. It has languished in committee for more than a year after it was introduced but is now picking up steam as the poster child for the debate over President Obama’s health care reform. The bill would, on its face, repeal a controversial 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. The …

New W-2 Reporting Requirements for Health Care Confusing Taxpayers (Already)

I had prepped myself for the idea that taxpayers were going to be confused by the new health care reporting requirements ever since last year when the rumormongering about taxing health care benefits in 2011 started. I wasn’t expecting taxpayers to be in a dither quite so far ahead of tax season. Judging from the number of panicky emails in my inbox, I was wrong… But then (*smacks self in the head*), I had forgotten: 2012 is an election year. ‘Tis the season for half truths and innuendo. So let me see if I can nip some of this in …

IRS Asks for Input on Health Care Law

For as long as I’ve been banging away on the keyboard about tax and tax policy, I don’t believe I’ve seen anything more polarizing than the “new” health care act which was signed into law last year. From the so-called Cadillac plans to the increased 1099 reporting requirements, no single piece of legislation has generated as much email, comments and downright hullaballoo, as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It makes sense, really, when you consider that the scope of the law is quite breathtaking. It affects scores of taxpayers on a number of levels – from individuals and …

Ask the taxgirl: “Real Estate Tax” In Health Care Law?

Taxpayer asks: Please tell me this isn’t so…..Under the new health care bill, all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8 % sales tax. This new tax is supposed to kick in 2013. taxgirl says: I’ve gotten a few questions about this so-called “real estate tax” lately. Concern about the “tax” has escalated due to a chain email making the rounds. The email, which has a few variations, looks more or less like this: This should help stimulate the real estate market! Under the new health care bill, did you know that all real estate transactions are subject …

Health Care Repeal Fails But Key Tax Issue Sails Through

You know how when you go to the gym at the beginning of the year, you can’t get a spot on treadmill because all of the new folks determined to make a change? All filled with vim and vigor and the best of intentions? (They’re also the ones wearing Uggs on the treadmill and talking on their cell phones but that’s another issue altogether.) The new Congress is a lot like those folks at the gym (hopefully minus the Uggs), ready to tackle anything and everything – at least at the first of the year. It was no surprise, then, …