Americans are playing chicken with the government by refusing to buy insurance, apparently hoping that the government will back down rather than impose the penalties.
Frankly, I find the idea of risking the IRS penalty to be a scary prospect. But I am still grateful for the Americans enacting a boycott.
According to the Washington Times, “Taxpayers duck Obamacare tax, snubbing IRS.”
Taxpayers are already telling their accountants they plan to stiff the IRS on the Obamacare tax, saying they figure the chances the agency comes after them for a few hundred bucks are pretty slim, and it makes sense to take the risk.
Still other taxpayers are recoiling when they find out they owe far more than the $95 minimum penalty for not having insurance in 2014, said Christopher Wittich, an accountant in Minnesota.
“And that’s a big problem for them,” he said. “They don’t have 200 bucks.”
Taxpayers are facing the first round of penalties under Obamacare’s “individual mandate,” which requires most Americans to prove they have health insurance coverage or else pay the tax that the Supreme Court ruled made the law constitutional.
But Indiana accountant Scott Frick said one of his clients, told he would have to fork over $850 for going without insurance last year, thought about the IRS and decided not to pay, just to “see what happens.”
One aspect of the law that makes this a little more understandable is that the IRS is prohibited from pursuing criminal penalties for failure to pay the “tax”/penalty. In fact, the only penalty they can impose is to swallow up your tax refund to get back what you owe.
But it is pretty easy to do your taxes so that there is little or no tax refund.
The Obama administration has estimated that up to 6 million people will have to pay the penalty this tax season, although it’s letting penalty payers in 37 states served by HealthCare.gov avoid a hefty 2015 penalty by signing up between March 15 and April 30 if they missed the Feb. 15 deadline.
As far as the White House is concerned, the law can be changed over and over again according to the President’s “prosecutorial discretion.” This same discretion is what is supposed to give him the authority to institute executive amnesty for illegal aliens.
Six million resistors is a large number. If this many people are willing to risk penalties to defy Obamacare, maybe Republicans need to double down on repealing the law.