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So yesterday Matt Drudge (R-Wing-Tool-Bag) decided he'd tweet himself a signature witty and say that he'd just paid his ObamaCare "Liberty Tax". Ha ha. ho ho hee hee hee.

But then TPM was all over that noise like a Hipster on Fresh pureed Kale.

There's just one problem: Americans don't pay a penalty for not having health insurance until they file their 2014 taxes -- in 2015. So either Drudge is lying or he paid a huge penalty a year earlier than he needed to.
Yeah, uh, that^^^^!  There's also the fact that, since it's a year early to pay this tax penalty, the Obama administration isn't even set up yet to accept mandate payments.  So as Louis Black once asked about people buying Milk for the lactose-intolerant - "You can't drink Milk? So - uh - what's in the carton?"

But wait, there's more...

TPM being not exactly dumb, pointed out via Huffington Post what Drudge might have been talking about, if he files his taxes quarterly as a small business.

If Drudge pays estimated income taxes every quarter -- a common practice for someone who is self-employed or is the sole proprietor of a business -- he could have guesstimated what his penalty will be and added that amount to the check he apparently cut to the IRS on Friday.
And even though he didn't answer TPM directly, Drudge did let on that this might be the case.
Obama team players trying to convince themselves NO Obamacare taxes due this year. Adjust your doses, face reality.
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) March 21, 2014

Dazed team Obama media reporters think Opt-Out tax 'year away'? Not for small businesses that file Qtr estimates. We're there NOW, baby #pay
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) March 21, 2014

Yeah, ok, a few things.

1) That's not what they claimed, only that individual taxes for 2014 don't have to be filed until 2015.  Drudge initially claimed he wasn't "Getting Covered" - that's what an individual does.  A company - which would file taxes quarterly during the prior year -  "Provides Coverage" for it's employees, yes, even including the proprietor.  Whose not "facing reality" again, Matt?

[Note via comments: it may be possible that Drudge actually is filing quarterly individual taxes because his company is an S-Corp using Schedule k-1. The remaining problem is that those schedules do not - as far as I can tell - contain a section to break out a "insurance mandate penalty payments" just as the tax expert from Jackson Hewitt stated in the TPM article. If this is true he's not lying, he is - as TPM surmised - basically throwing "an interest free loan" at the government to meet his own personal individual mandate requirement using his corporate profits with the Hope that he'll get credit for it when the IRS does it's mandate assessment at the end of the year, if that's the case Drudge could've cleared this up by simply responding to TPM when they asked.  I have more on this at the end of post.]

2) Uh, and this vvvvvv!

"That's perplexing," said Brian Haile, the senior vice president for health-care policy at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, a tax-preparation company. The IRS has no mechanism in place yet to even accept individual mandate penalties and hasn't even published the tables taxpayers will use to work out how much they owe. Plus, any money sent in can't be earmarked especially for that, he explained. The IRS didn't respond to a request for additional information about collecting mandate penalties. Drudge didn't respond to an email asking him to elaborate on his tweet.
And 3) Is that if Matt Drudge is talking about filing his quarterly taxes as a company and not an individual, unless he has at least 50 current (or equivelent) full time employes.. He and his company are EXEMPT from the mandate.  
If Drudge was referring to the employer mandate, it only applies to companies with more than 50 employees. They must cover a certain percentage of their employees or pay a penalty.
But companies with less than 100 employees are exempt from any penalty until 2016. Drudge has never revealed the full extent of his staff, but the Huffington Post characterized it as "small" in a 2012 article about two new hires.
And too.. from my own double-checking via the Final Regulation for Employers states that the mandate assessment is only for any employees of the company that are not offered Health Insurance first subtracting the first 30 employees who are considered exempt at $2,000 each for the year, less any individual months during the year that some of those employees may have been covered by the company.

So for a company of 50 people, the yearly assessment would be ((50-30) x $2,000) for a total of $40,000.  The quarterly amount, if this is indeed what Drudge paid, for that would be a $10,000 payment - although again - that wouldn't be due until 2016 because the Employer Mandate for Small Business Was Delayed for a Year.

Under new rules announced Monday by Treasury Department officials, employers with 50 to 99 workers will be given until 2016 — two years longer than originally envisioned under the Affordable Care Act — before they risk a federal penalty for not complying.
He might not even have to pay anything under the unlikelihood that he has more than 100 employees if he offers healthcare to at least 70% of them by next year.
Companies with 100 workers or more are getting a different kind of one-year grace period. Instead of being required in 2015 to offer coverage to 95 percent of full-time workers, these bigger employers can avoid a fine by offering insurance to 70 percent of them next year.
If this is the case it would generate, under the worse possible case scenario, a minimum quarterly assessment payment ((100-30) * $2,000)/4) of $35,000 due starting in March of 2015 if the Drudge Report has over 100 employees and more than 30% of them don't have health insurance.

But again, if Drudge Report has less than 50 Employees - they would owe nothing and not be subject to any ObamaCare Employer Mandate.

So - uh - what's in the Carton Matt?

One last thing, as Robert Reich pointed out in a recent column, if Drudge Report has only about 25 employees, his company - if they offered them health insurance (not ObamaCare, but EMPLOYER Health Insurance) - they could be eligible for Tax Credits to offset their Health Care Costs.

But a lot about the Affordable Care Act needs fixing – especially the widespread confusion and misinformation that continues to surround it. For example, a majority of business owners with fewer than 50 workers still think they’re required to offer insurance or pay a penalty. (In fact, the law applies only to businesses with 50 or more employees who work more than 30 hours a week). And many companies with fewer than 25 workers still don’t realize that if they offer plans they can qualify for subsidies in the form of tax credits.
And as a matter of fact, those tax credits have been available to small businesses since 2010 and  now cover as much as 50% of a companies health care costs, according to the dread... IRS.
For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid for small business employers and 25 percent of premiums paid for small tax-exempt employers such as charities.

For tax years beginning in 2014 or later, there will be changes to the credit:

  • The maximum credit will increase to 50 percent of premiums paid for small business employers and 35 percent of premiums paid for small tax-exempt employers.
If his company is truly small, under ObamaCare, the IRS would be paying him to provide healthcare to himself and his employees.

But instead Drudge's basic claim is that he sent in a check to the IRS, cuz, "ObamaCare Made Him" - in which he essentially admits that's he's a poor little self-employed guy who also has another 50-100 employees for whom he doesn't provide Health Insurance - to pay a tax penalty that doesn't even kick-in for small employers until 2016, all in the process of trying to make Obama into the bad guy?

I think he's either a Deluded Pathological Liar or he has a really shitty business accountant - or Both.

And tweets like this one full of IRS-ghazi craziness don't really help change that opinion.

Yes, yes, we dare to Mock, we Ridicule, we Keed - because if you are in fact not a Big Fat Honking Liar Liar-puss - you are a DICK of a Boss for which a Giant Heaping of Mocky Riduculi-ness is the very least you deserve.


2:23 PM PT: In his follow up tweet Drudge links to a "List of Obamacare Taxes" posted on the page of House Rep Jeff Duncan which includes this section.

$65 Billion: Individual Mandate Excise Tax and Employer Mandate Tax (Both taxes take effect Jan. 2014):

Individual: Anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance as defined by Obama-appointed HHS bureaucrats must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

This would be the only tax that might apply to someone like Drudge, except for the teeny tiny fact that...

The ObamaCare employer mandate / employer penalty, originally set to begin in 2014, will be delayed until 2015 / 2016. The ObamaCare "employer mandate" is a requirement that all businesses with over 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees provide health insurance for their full-time employees, or pay a per month "Employer Shared Responsibility Payment" on their federal tax return.

Employer mandate update: Small businesses with 50-99 full-time equivalent employees will need to start insuring workers by 2016. Those with a 100 or more will need to start providing health benefits in 2015. Health care tax credits have been retroactively available to small businesses with 25 or less full-time equivalent employees since 2010.

Let's just put to bed the idea that it's possible in any way that Drudge is required to pay NOW as a result of the employer mandate for 2014.  He's not. Period.

However, one commenter did come up with a scenario where Drudge could be subject to the individual mandate and also the quarterly estimate requirement.

For individuals who have employers doing tax withholding, you may have noticed that the withholding changes when tax rates change or your income for the pay period changes.  For individuals who do not have payroll withholding, they generally file quarterly estimated payments to the IRS (some even do both payroll withholding and quarterly payments).  Mr Drudge apparently makes quarterly payments.
It's possible that Drudge is making a quarterly payment as an individual to the IRS and hence might be theoretically subject to the individual mandate because his employer (probably) does not pay for his withholding and also does not provide for his health care.  Apparently he works for a complete jerkoff, which - as it happens - would be himself.

If Drudge is talking about filing as a 47 year-old "Invincible" individual - even though he does mention being a "small business" in a later tweet ("We're there Now, Baby") - what would his penalty be?

The penalty in 2014 is calculated one of 2 ways. You’ll pay whichever of these amounts is higher:

1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average yearly premium for a bronze plan.

$95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.

The way the penalty is calculated, a single adult with household income below $19,650 would pay the $95 flat rate. A single adult with household income above $19,650 would pay an amount based on the 1 percent rate. (If income is below $10,150, no penalty is owed.)

The penalty would either be $95 or 1% of his yearly income minus $10,150 - divided by 4 (for the quarterly estimate).  So, just for arguments sake, let's say he's making $50,000 right now in which case his "Liberty Tax" payment for this quarter would be a horribly painful - $99.62.  And that's Quarterly.

Oww, quit it.

For someone his age the national bronze plan yearly-average, and hence his own maximum possibly yearly penalty, would be $3,552 (or $888 per quarter).  In order to hit the max, he'd have to be earning about $365,000/year.

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