One of the odd things about the weekend pot-stirring by Matt Drudge over his stated inclusion of one-quarter of his estimated 2014 “Obamacare penalty” tax for not carrying health insurance coverage this year — calling it a “liberty tax” — is that few if any of those who criticized him seem to have bothered to consult with a tax practitioner for an expert take on the matter before what we now know were serious misfires. Either that, or they did, decided that they didn’t like the answers, and crawled back into their holes. That list includes Jesse Lee, the White House’s Director of Progressive Media and Online Response (yes, that’s a real position), who didn’t even understand that Drudge is paying this year’s taxes this year, not last year’s taxes.
Thus, I thought it would be useful to publish a note I received this morning from someone who works at a CPA firm in the Midwest who had a chance to read my NewsBusters post on Tuesday and two earlier technical posts (here and here) at my home blog (bolds are mine):
One of the questions that we ask our clients when preparing their 2014 estimates is whether they will have health insurance during 2014.
The only point of asking this question would be to determine if we need to increase their estimated tax payments because of the “Personal Responsibility Tax” or whatever Orwellian name the IRS has for the individual mandate.
I am not aware of any of our clients who said they will not have health insurance in 2014 and, given the lack of IRS guidance around the issue (which you have covered on the blog), I am not sure we would know how to proceed if they did. (i.e., if they did tell us they won’t be insured this year — Ed.)
My point is this: it is more than just Matt Drudge who is considering their liability with the individual mandate tax/penalty. Every person with a competent tax professional is.
One would infer that anyone from the establishment press or the prog-blog community who would have inquired on this matter would have received the same answer from any “competent tax professional.”
This likely explains why many national establishment press outlets which are just dying to get a chance to take a shot at Drudge kept their powder dry, leaving the unhinged lefty blogs and Jesse Lee, an unhinged lefty blogger who happens to work at the White House, twisting in the wind.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.