The PJ Tatler

Coming Next January: New Tax Form to Comply With Obamacare Mandate

I’ve been wondering how the IRS was going to determine whether taxpayers were complying with the individual mandate contained in Obamacare.

I needn’t have wondered. The IRS is a bureaucracy and what do bureaucracies adore almost as much as taxpayer-financed trips to Vegas for conferences?

Forms, of course.

When Obamacare’s individual mandate takes effect in 2014, all Americans who file income tax returns must complete an additional IRS tax form.

The new form will require disclosure of a taxpayer’s personal identifying health information in order to determine compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

As confirmed by IRS testimony to the tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means, “taxpayers will file their tax returns reporting their health insurance coverage, and/or making a payment”.

So why will the Obama IRS require your personal identifying health information?

Simply put, there is no way for the IRS to enforce Obamacare’s individual mandate without such an invasive reporting scheme. Every January, health insurance companies across America will send out tax documents to each insured individual. This tax document—a copy of which will be furnished to the IRS—must contain sufficient information for taxpayers to prove that they purchased qualifying health insurance under Obamacare.

This new tax information document must, at a minimum, contain: the name and health insurance identification number of the taxpayer; the name and tax identification number of the health insurance company; the number of months the taxpayer was covered by this insurance plan; and whether or not the plan was purchased in one of Obamacare’s “exchanges.”

This will involve millions of new tax documents landing in mailboxes across America every January, along with the usual raft of W-2s, 1099s, and 1098s. At tax time, the 140 million families who file a tax return will have to get acquainted with a brand new tax filing form. Six million of these families will end up paying Obamacare’s individual mandate non-compliance tax penalty.

Americans for Tax Reform have helpfully supplied a mock up of the form here.

How many millions of Americans will think the new form junk mail and toss it? How many millions won’t understand they have to file the form with their tax return and be assessed the penalty? How many millions will refuse to fill out some of the information — and probably be penalized?

I am trying to imagine colonial Americans (or Americans of just about any generation prior to WW II) being faced with a government that demands such compulsory behavior in such an intrusive manner. It’s not hard to think that the tar, feathers, and pitchforks would come out and government workers would be subjected to a storm of protests and even attacks.

Most of modern America, however, is not made of such stern stuff. Most will submit to our masters at the IRS — meekly and with hardly a whimper — grateful for this beneficence from Daddy Government and willing to fill the data banks in Washington with our most personal, private information.

It’s just a form, Obamacare supporters will say. And a boiling frog started his day just going for a swim.