First: Bill, Calm Down! This is not a political rant.
It's the new year. As I understand it, everyone has about a week to apply for "Obamacare," UNLESS they are specifically exempted. The clock is ticking.
One of the big catches is the question: How much will you earn in 2015? Based on this, you will be quoted a rate that includes your 'tax credit.'
That's the problem. A very slight change - say, $5000 - in the actual income makes for a huge difference in the subsidy. How much? Perhaps $200/month.
The effect of this is that, come tax time next year, a "good" year will result in your refund being totally lost, and a requirement to pay thousands more.
This is especially a concern for those of us who have it hardest - the true 'journeymen' who chase work around the country. They might make the good money ($27/hr + $50 per diem is common) when they're working ... but the rest of the time they're lucky to get even unemployment. They have no way to know if 20115 will be a $20K year or a $70K year.
The application process seems to end with a 'figures don't match existing records' flag, and a request for additional paperwork from other agencies - paperwork the other agencies have no knowledge of. I mean: How can Unemployment tell them how much you are going to earn this year - or, for that matter, what you have earned in the past six months? Yet, that is what the ACA folks appear to be asking for.
Taxes will be fun this year, with (I'm told) a requirement to provide your ACA account number. Next year will be even more fun.
I can't be sure, but from here is looks like instant bankruptcy and perpetual tax liens for all but the very few who are 'exempt.'
I suppose the answer is to bank enough money on the fat years to cover the taxes (and Obamacare is a tax according to the SCOTUS). I suppose the question is how you recover the unpaid subsidy on a lean year if you applied thinking you were fat. I assume you have a way at tax time. I am out of that myself (I am on Medicare)
The time for those of us who have employer provided health insurance to get reamed is coming, higher costs, higher deductibles, higher co-pays, that is not a pleasant thought, that is why I call it "Mengele Care" since it was assembled with callousness, and total lack of compassion by it's authors. (Maybe they had the same sadistic streak that the "Angel of Death" had too....)
The key take away: EVERYONE is snared by additional reporting (1099) requirements at thresholds never before seen.
ALL businesses will HAVE to be spitting out -- AND accounting for the blizzard of 1099s 0-care demands.
I hoped that the ACA would've doled out funds for new medical colleges -- we are WAY short -- sort of a NASA for medicine.
However, as you dig in you discover that 0-care is nothing but rules, regulations, more committees, and TAXES. It was this last factor that rather suprised even the Supreme Court.
( They'd only heard press accounts until the actual bill was entered into their court. Since the Constitution has always granted the Congress the power to tax -- no matter how tortured -- the Supremes ruled it lawful. )
During this quiet time of the year -- every EC needs to gear up for taxes in ways new to him.
I expect that you'll see a wholesale adoption of e-commerce by independent businessmen. 0-care makes cash transactions brutally expensive.
Dr. Gruber made that a high point with all of the insiders.
It's NOT FOR NOTHING that Apple has JUST rolled out Apple Pay. They've figured it out: to stay sweet with the IRS you're going to have to live a fully (digitally) exposed economic life.
In my humble opinion -- this new payment mechanism (e-commerce) is going to prove DECISIVE for economic survival -- FOR ANY BUSINESS.
I expect that the IRS will expand its rules and regs to require even non-profits to use e-commerce.
Future audits will consist of just trolling through your e-commerce records.
Don't be surprised when the IRS rejects all non e-commerce business expenses. That shift should be expected as soon as the 'system' is fully up and running.
The dreamers in DC think that all of us small business men are raking it in like "Walter White."
This is the politcal-economic reality we now live in -- and I can't imagine ANY political party reversing course. It's beyond debate -- it's just a done deal.
From here on out, filing taxes will mean something totally new. Without an e-commerce chain of proof the IRS is going to challenge your return.
[ If you don't know: in Canada and England the government performs your income tax return -- not you -- not HR Block -- not your CPA. Even in America all Big Busnesses have FULL TIME IRS staffers at their headquarters -- said offices have to be provided free to the government.(!) So get ready to be treated like EXXON-MOBILE. The IRS will simply begin to read your e-records by high speed Internet. Their 'bots will then decide if you're Audit Worthy.
On all these points, European governments are way ahead.]
(BTW, my local electrical distributors won't accept cash over the counter anymore. They've entirely eliminated the till. Any check is converted to an e-draft -- and cleared -- right on the spot. So ones cash goes out without ANY delay, whereas (GC) customers play games, have excuses.)
That may explain why we see a lot more credit card logos displayed at supply counters and PIN keypads on the counter.
Several of the suppliers around here have been scanning checks for years. I remember the first time it happened to me, I thought they were refusing my check when they handed it back to me. When I asked what happened, the guy said he didn't need it anymore, he had his money.
I agree this is all about taxes and obamacare is a tax. That is why it is administered by the IRS. The IRS is also the best positioned to find illegal aliens so I expect that to be used to expand their role.