(I’m on the downhill side of finishing our cursed taxes, and need a break to grumble a bit…)
The line item name for the (ahem) fine under ‘Other taxes’ is 1040 #61: ‘health care, individual responsibility, (see instructions).
Mind you, the phrasing of ‘individual responsibility‘ in this case almost reaches the level of satire, given that the entire for-profit medical insurance system doesn’t seem to function under that rubric. Nor does BigPharma, of course, nor do hospitals, surgeons, shrinks, or most other ‘medical providers’.
“Ah, stuff it somewhere”, I’d advised Mr. wd when he let me know that Health and Human Services had sent me some rubbish that concerned my abdication of my shared responsibility, “I’ll look at it by and by.” When a second one came in the mail, I was still disinterested, and only looked at it as I assembled all of the relevant documents and forms that Mr. wd had rounded up and lassoed together to make doing the taxes feasible, if not…pleasurable.
So sighing an ‘okey-dokey’ sound, I sucked it up and went to the IRS page in order to secure the forms, worksheets, and instructions to figure out how, and how much, to fine myself by taxation without fair representation. Oooof! Just look at the main page of instructions! Now all of the first parts are explanations of ‘exemptions’, none of which apply to the likes of me, and although I admit I thought about the ‘religious beliefs’ as exceptions…some fool o a Nebraska judge judge just rules against a NE prisoner’s lawsuit asking for being granted rights as a Pastafarian.
Now the judge doesn’t consider the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be an actual deity, thus called the church a parody, so…I figured naming myself such would be likely to fly with the IRS, so to speak. But scrolling down to the bottom under ‘Shared responsibility payment’ rules and charts and yeses and noes…made my eyes cross and smoke come out my ears in a brain meltdown. Adding further aggravation and anxiety was the long section on ‘Mistakes on form 8965′; oh, yes, I’d make ‘mistakes’. So in the end, I typed up a cover letter asking if (pretty please) the kind agents at the IRS would please calculate it for me, and send me…the bill. Now I might be wrong, but it may be that they’ll bill me at least $2277. Some share, eh?
On a another romp through IRS forms and instructions, I’d felt half obliged to remember how to amortize or depreciate (what the hell the difference is, I still haven’t sussed out), a crap used pickup Mr. wd bought for his carpentry work after his old ‘un imploded to junk status. But holy hell, these instructions for form 4562 are (merely) 28 pages worth of arcane tax laws, most all of which are designed for da wealthy bidness people among us. ‘Limited to $500,000 depreciation on an Idea’ or some rubbish.
And so…given that he’d only bought the crap truck in December off 2015, and reckoning that there is an outside possibility that I might get a hella lot smarter by this time next year, I might give it a go then. Or not, of course. ;-)
But consider that if USian kleptocrats actually paid their fair of taxes, even by way of current top marginal tax rates (35-40%?), free health care for all would be possible. And I don’t mean just tax avoidance in shell companies, but tax avoidance through their cadres of tax accountants who know all the loopholes that were designed just for them. At least a few of the plutocrats used to kinda/sorta acknowledge that their wealth was made on the backs of the serf/rabble class, and would ‘give back’ in some small noblesse oblige. Now that class gives back in charitable ways that are designed to return their largesse quite profitably. The plutocratic version of individual responsibility.
Got any tax stories to make me feel better? Or yourselves? ;-)