Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tax Changes in the Health Reform Bill

Health reform legislation has made such major changes to the Internal Revenue Code (thankfully, none of these affect our 2009 filings due next week) that tax professionals may be forgiven for thinking that a tax bill with health features has just been passed.

The AICPA has published a discussion of the various tax changes and implementation dates in the Journal of Accountancy.

Generally speaking, for the same level of coverage you'll pay more (and it could be substantially more) through the tax system than less well-off citizens if you're a wealthy individual or large employer.

Most of us, rich or poor, large or small, will also have significant IRS additional reporting requirements.

Everyone will have his or her boon or bane from the legislation. One of my peeves, from a tax point of view, is the resumption of the 1970's distinction between "earned" and "passive"(here called "investment") income, in which earnings from capital will be taxed more heavily than earnings from labor. There is enough tax-structuring going on because of progressive tax rates; adding schemes that recharacterize investment income as earned income for wealthy individuals won't help economic efficiency. It will increase business for accountants and financial planners, though as a consultant who works in that area I suppose I should be grateful. © 2010 Stephen Yuen

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