Iowa Public Radio, Can Employers Dump Workers On Health Exchanges? Yes, For A Price:
The latest tweak from the Internal Revenue Service essentially prohibits employers from giving workers tax-free subsidies to buy policies in the online public marketplaces created by the health law. The New York Times first reported the rule.
But the headline on the story, “I.R.S. Bars Employers From Dumping Workers Into Health Exchanges,” overstates the case. Nothing stops employers from canceling company plans and leaving workers to buy individual policies sold through the exchanges — as long as the companies pay the relevant taxes and penalties, said Christopher Condeluci, a Venable lawyer specializing in benefits and taxes. Those would vary according to a company’s size and circumstances.
The ACA requires employers with more than 50 “full-time equivalent” employees to provide “adequate” coverage. The IRS says that subsidizing employees to use the ACA exchanges doesn’t work. This, of course, is the same IRS that arbitrarily and unlawfully just waived the requirement in the first place through 2014, and for those with under 100 employees through 2015. Some laws are more equal than others.
It’s fascinating that the Administration refers to the practice of sending employees to buy policies on the exchanges as “dumping.” The exchanges are a centerpiece of Obamacare, touted as an important step in making affordable coverage available for everyone. Suddenly they are a “dump.” Obamacare fines individuals for not patronizing that very dump.
Permanent bonus depreciation advances in House. Tax Analysts reports ($link, my emphasis)):
Camp said the extenders the committee considered had been renewed enough times that most of them have been or soon will have been extended for at least 10 years, the budget window period. “If we’ve extended something for 10 years, let’s call it what it is, [and] that’s permanent policy,” he said. “We shouldn’t have to raise taxes other places in the economy to keep current tax law.”
The costliest bill the committee approved was H.R. 4718, introduced by Ways and Means Committee member Patrick J. Tiberi, R-Ohio. That bill would permanently extend bonus depreciation, allowing businesses to immediately deduct 50 percent of qualified purchased property. The bill, passed on a 23-11 vote, would expand the definition of qualified property to include owner-occupied retail stores. It would lift restrictions to allow for more unused corporate alternative minimum tax credits, which businesses can claim in lieu of bonus depreciation, to be used for capital investment.
Expiring provisions are a lie. Any extension of an “expiring” provision should be counted as permenent under budget rules, as they pretty much are.
Related: Dave Camp’s Great Bonus Depreciation Flip-Flop (Howard Gleckman, TaxVox); Negative GDP Growth Illustrates the Need for Bonus Depreciation (Alan Cole, Tax Policy Blog)
One of these is not like the other. The Des Moines Register coverage of last night’s Iowa GOP Senate Primary debate has something I never expected to see in a story about a candidate for statewide office:
Whitaker stands out because he doesn’t support the Renewable Fuel Standard, or any tax breaks for any energy source. “If we don’t believe in mandates for health care, we shouldn’t believe in mandates as it relates to energy,” he said.
All other candidates in both parties genuflect to the Renewables Subsidy idol. In Iowa, ethanol apostasy is rare; more typical is the GOP governor who is all about picking winners and losers, when the winners are an influential local constituency.
The IRS needs to regulate these people to stamp out fraud. “Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that six former employees of the Internal Revenue Service have pleaded guilty to receiving unemployment benefits while they worked at the agency.” (Department of Justice press release)
Robert D. Flach serves up your Friday Buzz. “Who would have guessed that I would agree with a group of CPAs?”
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 386
And now they’ve proved it. “A Minneapolis husband and wife who ran a website called imarriedanidiot.com were convicted last week on federal tax charges.” (TwinCities.com)
Across the road, of course. Where are all the Chickens? (Paul Neiffer)
News from the Profession. This Big 4 Firm Just Ruined Selfies for Everyone (Going Concern)