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Americans already spend some 6 billion hours and $168 billion each year complying with a complex and onerous tax code. But ObamaCare is going to make tax filing even more of a chore for consumers who received subsidies for health plans purchased through the state and federal exchanges.
Tax filing season will be extraordinarily difficult for many who received subsidies for which they weren't eligible. But just filing a tax return may be a headache, adding to the already complicated process that Americans have come to loathe. Reason's J.D. Tuccille points to a CBS Money Watch report that describes the new two-page IRS Form 8962, which anyone who has received subsidies will be required to fill out and submit with their tax return.
"To put the correct figures in several of these spaces, you'll need to complete charts and worksheets found elsewhere in the 20-page instruction booklet. If you are, say, divorced and sharing expenses with your ex-spouse, you'll also need to fill out the second page of [Form 8962]. Though this page has just seven lines, there are 37 spaces," CBS Money Watch explains. "Worse yet, according to the IRS, completing that page requires cooperating and sharing both insurance and tax information with your ex-spouse -- not exactly a walk in the park for those with acrimonious splits."
Not only will it put some filers into extraordinarily awkward spots, the report notes that there is no time estimate for how long it will take for ObamaCare subsidy recipients to fill out the form, but as CBS Money Watch notes, "[e]xperts estimate that someone with a complex situation will spend more time on the 8962 than they will filling out all of their other tax forms combined."
Calling this "a complex situation" doesn't begin to do it justice. The New York Times reports that some 800,000 consumers enrolled in health plans through the ObamaCare exchanges "received erroneous tax information from the government." Form 8962 requires monthly calculations of subsidies received, as well as an annual total. "Consumers can expect to receive corrected data in the first week of March," the Times noted. "With the new data, officials warned, some taxpayers will owe more and some will owe less."
Much has already been written about what ObamaCare is in terms of handouts for crony big businesses, including health insurance companies. It would seem that one could add tax preparation services to those that may reap some big gains at filers' expense.