Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Taxes on health care costs? Not so fast

There has been e-mails flying around the Internet, and some blog posts, about a tax imposed by Obamacare on the cost of health care.

One of them says:
"You really need to read this. Starting in 2011 (next year folks) your W2 tax form sent by your employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given by the company. It does not matter if that's a private concern or governmental body of some sort. If you're retired? So what; your gross will go up by the amount of insurance you get. You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you have never seen.
"Take your tax form you just finished and see what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross does to your tax debt. That's what you'll pay next year. For many it also puts you into a new higher bracket so it's even worse. This is how the government is going to buy insurance for 15% that don't have insurance and it's only part of the tax increases."
Well, according to snopes.com and politifact.com, this is simply not true. What is true is that you will see for the tax year 2011 the employer cost of health care on your W-2, but this is not taxable income.
Since the health care law actually continues the tax exemption on employer-sponsored insurance, why include a requirement that employers report the value of health insurance on the W-2? There are several reasons.
The new health insurance law will eventually penalize people who are not insured with a tax penalty. The W-2 reporting requirement will help the Internal Revenue Service verify that people have coverage, both for themselves and their dependents.
It's bad enough that Obamacare will probably make health care less accessible to the average Joe, but let's stick to facts people

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