Tax season is just around the corner, and the majority of Americans are still completely puzzled when it comes to how Obamacare will affect their taxes. Unbeknownst to most, 14 ways, in total, to avoid paying the Obamacare tax penalty for not complying with the federal insurance mandate exist. In fact, one of them is so incredibly ambiguous, just about anyone can get away with not paying the tax.
As of now, these “waivers” are available until at least 2016:
1. You were homeless.
Documentation Required: None
2. You have been evicted in the past 6 months, or were facing eviction or foreclosure.
Documentation Required: Copy of eviction or foreclosure notice
3. You received a shut-off notice from a utility company.
Documentation Required: Copy of shut-off notice from a utility company
4. You recently experienced domestic violence.
Documentation Required: None
5. You recently experienced the death of a close family member.
Documentation Required: Copy of death certificate, copy of death notice from newspaper, or copy of other official notice of death
6. You experienced a fire, flood, or other natural human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property.
Documentation Required: Copy of police or fire report, insurance claim, or other document from government agency, private entity, or news source documenting event
7. You filed for bankruptcy in the last 6 months.
Documentation Required: Copy of bankruptcy filing
8. You had medical expenses you couldn’t pay in the last 24 months.
Documentation Required: Copies of medical bills
9. You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member.
Documentation Required: Copies of receipts related to care
10. You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who’s been denied coverage in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child.
Documentation Required: Copy of medical support order AND copies of eligibility notices for Medicaid and CHIP showing that the child has been denied coverage
11. As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you’re eligible either for: 1) enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace, 2) lower costs on your monthly premiums, or 3) cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren’t enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace.
Documentation Required: Copy of notice of appeals decision
12. You were determined ineligible for Medicaid because your state didn’t expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Documentation Required: Copy of notice of denial of eligibility for Medicaid
13. You received a notice saying that your current health insurance plan is being cancelled, and you consider the other plans available unaffordable.
Documentation Required: Copy of notice of cancellation
And here’s the final exemption that will allow anyone without insurance to avoid paying the penalty. Because documentation is only required “if possible” it’s impossible to collect the tax against virtually everyone without insurance. Although it is certainly not suggested that one lie to the IRS, many people could end up doing so in order to have extra money to feed their family.
14. You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance.
Documentation Required: “Please submit documentation if possible.”