Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Obamacare and the Individual Mandate: Correct Me If I'm Wrong

When I first started learning about Obamacare back when it was passed (in what, 2010? Sheesh, that's a long time), one of my biggest gripes was the idea that I was forced to buy something - and penalized for refusing to do so.

The penalty will be $695 per uninsured (or underinsured) adult in 2016. Plus kids. For me, that will total thousands of dollars for not purchasing a qualified health plan.

But the way I see it, nobody's forcing me to buy anything. Because ultimately, I won't have to pay the penalty.

You see, the new law tasks the IRS with collecting the penalty from the uninsured. However, to this end the IRS is NOT authorized to do anything but 1) withhold any tax refunds due; and 2) ask for the money.

That's it. They can't seize property, place liens, garnish wages or other conduct other more forceful tactics.Which means that as long as the federal government doesn't owe me money, they can't penalize me for not playing ball.

So that's my word of advice to anyone who doesn't want to participate in Obamacare: Withhold enough taxes from your paycheck to avoid any refunds. And you're in the clear.

Am I wrong? If so, I would love to know.

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