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The Joint Committee On Taxation, “Estimates Of Federal Tax Expenditures For Fiscal Years 2012 2017,” (Jcs 1 13), February 1, 2013, Table 1

1543 words - 7 pages

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010 and implemented in 2014. The goal of the bill was to create affordable health insurance policies so most individuals throughout the United States are covered by a health insurer. If an individual does not comply and purchase a mandated health insurance policy, he or she is subject to a penalty tax. This tax is the greater of a flat tax of up to $695.00 for each individual or 2.5% of the household income.
This expansion of federal taxation is unprecedented and dangerous. The policy is fundamentally instructing the taxpayers how, where and when to spend their money. Once the Supreme Court upheld the ruling that ...view middle of the document...

The main purpose of tax collection, according to the Supreme Court, is government revenue generation. The main purpose of the tax attached to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act is to convince taxpayers that it is in their best interest to purchase a health insurance policy. There have been past taxes implemented to penalize the use of certain items such as cigarettes, alcohol and gambling. Still, the government relies on these taxes and the ultimate purpose for these taxes is still revenue generation. Basically, the government is allowing the taxpayers to continue using these products as long as they pay for the privilege. In terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the government is trying to persuade the citizens to purchase a health insurance policy by applying a hefty penalty. Revenue generation is secondary to social improvement in this case.
The tax imposed on those individuals that do not purchase an insurance policy is a penalty. The Supreme Court claims it is a “tax” and not a “penalty.” But this is just semantics. The definition of a penalty according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “The suffering in person, rights or property that is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime or public offense. ” Clearly, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the noncomplying taxpayer is suffering in property annexed by law. The property is the individual’s money which is being forfeited due to a violation of the act passed and signed into law. The tax imposed on those that choose not to purchase a health insurance policy is penalizing them.
The tax system in the United States was convoluted prior to the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The new act unfairly complicates an already complex system. This causes taxpayers to spend money on tax attorneys, tax accountants or letter rulings from the IRS as the provisions in the new act are so difficult for the average person to understand. The Internal Revenue Code is over 9,000 pages and this act caused an additional 1,000 pages to be written, read and interpreted.
Furthermore, the act grants the IRS a tremendous amount of unprecedented responsibilities. The Government Accountability Office performed an Audit of the Internal Revenue Service in 2011 in an attempt to determine and evaluate the responsibilities granted to the agency by the Patient protection and Affordable Care Act. The Audit found that the IRS has 47 responsibilities under the new act. While the audit affirmed the IRS met the basic necessities associated with the new responsibilities, the GAO stated that a great deal of improvement was necessary in the areas of strategic planning, risk management and performance evaluation. The IRS may likely be lacking in these areas because the responsibilities and powers granted to them are overly burdensome. The IRS is already constantly dealing with questions and decisions about...

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