How to fine oneself for failing to purchase ObamaDontCare, as per the IRS

(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? ;-)

15 responses to “How to fine oneself for failing to purchase ObamaDontCare, as per the IRS

  1. sheesh; of course there’s a hashtag!

  2. i just went thru the same crap! i’m an EZ flyer on flight 1040, so it wasn’t that difficult, just annoying. and of course they have all (yes, all) of my income information, so it’s just pointless busy work. even for low wage schlubs like myself (i’m a slacktavist! so go ahead, waste your time & sue me!) this stuff serves the same function as voting: investment in the legitimacy of the system. for most of us, it’s one’s positive duty to lie about this crap as much as one can get away with.

  3. ‘ez flyer on flight 1040’; love your framing verbiage, as always, jason. but why has there not been a tax resistance movement since the ’60s? no taxes for war, fer instance (a portion phone bills, back in the day.

    what i’d forgotten in my cover letter was: ‘otherwise, send the sheriff to cart me off to prison, but please alert me first, as i’ll have hemlock or essence of drano secreted in my pocketses. but maybe they’d have seen is as a terr’ist threat, rather than my own truth that i can’t go to jail for anything, much less not buying into that fuck-worthy ACA. irs: are you watching? if so, get a little bit of humor, okay?

    ha! that was the other thing: ‘online computer sharing’ notification. wot? are they gonna buy this low-class crone a new laptop? no: ‘we will share every bit of your data with any agency that requests it’. iow: we are part of Big Brother: be advised.

    • well, for a variety of reasons, i squeaked by w/a slight return. a fairly regular occurence over the last 15 years. i tho’t it’d be about zero w/the uACA this year.

      it’s not, but i never see it. sallie mae gets it. know what i mean?

      tax resistance? thinking along the same lines. except on this end of the tax chain, the pennies are fairly meaningless compared w/the legal avoidance on the far other end of the income chain w/its trillions. and how is not filing or some kind of mock filing, how is that “resistance”? i still pay! i have no means of not paying. not taking this little annual ritual (little for me) seriously…need to get a few million of us to just say screw it. time is better spent playing w/the dog. or blogging.

  4. glad you get a week bit back, but really; how insulting to pay fica when the safety net is diminishing to beat the band, and medicaid/medicare are ever-mre chintzy, plus: clawbacks. heck-a-roonie, some red states won’t even take federal money to expand those programs.

    as to the other end of the equation, i added a bit to the OP along that order that i’d forgotten to say. i went back and dug out this gem i’d seen yesterday, grrrrr:

    Low-income Americans spend as much as $400 to get tax refund, report finds’; Report finds poorer Americans fall prey to tax preparers who deliberately target low-income areas and jack up prices ahead of 15 April filing deadline

    “Often, the EITC paperwork means additional fees. In Baltimore, H&R block charged about $309 and Liberty tax services charged as much as $509 for a complete return, according to the report. In Washington DC, those filing for EITC would pay $315 at H&R Block and about $491 at Jackson Hewitt.
    “The pattern of exploitation … persists,” the authors wrote. “Low-wage workers must file tax returns to get EITC refunds, which are intended to supplement their earnings. No less than middle-class taxpayers, many need help filing complicated returns, which makes them susceptible to costly tax preparation services that flock to poor communities.”

    plus a whole hella lot more is there. ubiquitous Negro, latino, and pauper farming in barrios.

    sallie mae? housing, then?

    • debt for life. the only one, i believe, bankruptcy has no effect on at all.
      all this fancy book-larnin’ on display weren’t cheap.

      • if you mean that bankruptcy doesn’t include any provisions for student debt (by convenient law), yes. in some barrios, like baltimore’s, payday loan rates, multiple bogus outstanding warrants per family, the modern equivalent of debtor’s prisons…yeah, it’s one long life for the rabble.

        a blogging friend who studied economics at oxford maintained that skirting the law was taught to students. and my friend is still an avowed capitalist, lol. speaking f which, i read this a.m. a piece at wsws. concerning the non-socialism of sanders. dude was rough on him, but even if he said half of what stein says, for instance…he might at least be considered a ‘sorta-socialist’, although dem socialists really are just reform capitalists, more fdr (under wobblie pressure) than conventional socialists, though there are so many sorts.

  5. oh, and speaking of shell companies and tax avoidance, trnn had michael hudson on re: the #panamaPapers.

    ‘Economist Michael Hudson says oil and mining industries and the State Department created Panama and Liberia for the express purpose of tax evasion’

    he cites his personal experiences, and demonstrates that in the 60s and 70s congress *wanted* dirty money, and this:

    PERIES: Michael, you have indicated in one of your articles that you were actually approached by a State Department operative in 1967. Tell us more about that experience.
    HUDSON: Yeah. From a State Department person who’d gone to work for Chase. I was–. The problem that America had in the 1960s was the Vietnam war. The entire balance of payments deficit of the United States in the 1950s and the ‘60s, right down to the early ‘70s, was military spending abroad. And the problem was that the dollar was either going down or the United States had to sell gold, and that’s what led to Nixon finally taking the dollar off gold in 1971. Well, the United–it’s tried to fight against that.”

    ah, well, it’s chock full of interesting open conspiracy/collusion bits.

    what sort of dog companion do you have, jason? we haven’t one, but a luscious red fox did trot by the exterior bedroom door this morning… (not that he stuck around for a photo-op, the piker.)

    • i have a cat. that michael hudson piece…wow. def. checkoutable.

      • ah, cool on a cat. ‘play with the dog’ was more metaphorical. i didn’t understand all of the hudson interview, but i wish i could remember some expert who’d said that panama and other islands with plenty of shell companies were where the cia laundered its various dirty monies. easy to believe.

        for some reason i’d never clicked into the link assange had tweeted, but other than the sorta-answered question about ‘why no amerikkans’ are on the list, he may have gotten it just right, especially if what he quoted from the guardian is right. oh, this first one cuz i love the photo, though. which Yuge bank is in the glass missile cone?

  6. if “economic activity” is defined by productivity, then for most of us tax season is a dead zone. keeping tabs on every receipt for, say, gas is wasted time. the capitalist mantras about efficiency and all that are such ridiculous BS. it’s about control and attempting to ensure that no economic activity occurs w/o mob boss uncle sam getting his cut.

    as an example: on the one of the busiest highways in Merka, I395 going thru Northern VA into DC, we have high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. not even getting into the inefficiency of having *white collar* workers spend 2 plus hrs a day commuting (again, it’s about control; can’t they keep tabs on someone else’s money from their computers at home?), when a violator breaks the HOV restrictions, a highway patrolman will shut down, for a stretch of road, 50% of the 2 lane highway so he can give someone a $200 ticket or whatever. b/c there are no breakdown lanes on the HOV lanes (more capitalist efficiency), to ticket someone you have to shut down one lane. ditto if one of these mobile metal morbid rectangles just breaks down, accidents, etc.

    that one is doing something important thru the mere act of participation in a multitude of empty rituals….well, it’s the great con job, ain’t it? the con is everywhere.

    • imo, you’ve put your finger on the Big Thing: we buy the con, and submit to the authoritarian overlords. more later on that, a long day here, but the forms are in their fooking envelopes.

      as for ‘gas’; we are obliged to file a schedule F Farm form, sticking in expenditures of anything that’s relevant. but here’s the clincher: unless one pays someone Else to do the labor, labor doesn’t count, no matter how many hours and gallons of sweat one puts into the land. what.B.S., no?

      the highways HOV scenario sounds surreal, but unfortnately…only too believable. i might have a more inspirational narration tomorrow (she sayed hopefully). sleep well, jason; often you feel like my soul-kin.

      oh, and ‘economic activity’, i think, includes issuing debt, which then becomes part of GDP, and cha cha cha…

  7. “unless one pays someone Else to do the labor, labor doesn’t count, no matter how many hours and gallons of sweat one puts into the land.” didn’t know that but it’s not surprising. how awful.

    “‘economic activity’, i think, includes issuing debt”–hard to see how issuing a $30k car loan is more valuable activity than building a $30k car, but that’s the whole system there. the disdain for actual labor is just horrifying.

    tax season is depressing. low turnout on the blurgs on this subject. Crashing airplanes into buildings never accomplished anything positive, but it’s still noteworthy how many people in the US sympathized w/that guy a couple of years ago who crashed his little dingy airplane into the IRS building in Austin, TX. this guy:

    glad it seems like the tax man goeth, as well.

    • oh my goodness; i’d forgotten that hideous happening. but as i understand it, issuing debt is part of fractional reserve banking. central banks play a large role in it, and now with negative interest rates, the oligarchs are not only running the table, but making it seem as some stocks are doing better (price per share) as corporations buy back their own shares at low prices. issuing bonds is also a big part of it, but i’m not thinking it through at the moment.

      but yes, each time i fill out schedule F, smoke comes out of my ears. not to mention, that the self-employed, or actual ‘job creators’, are punished financially in numerous ways.

      i fell asleep, but might be awake enough to post my (almost promised) inspirational story that’s not much in the news, i think. an oh, my, i got myself in hot water at another site where i’d been…banned. oopsie.

    • ha; i wonder how much and who will cover the foia’ed documents by Judicial Watch’?

      from MoA: ‘Clinton Lied – Benghazi Attack Was Part Of A Larger Operation

      …and it only got 65 comments, iirc. tax day? fahgeddaboudit.

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