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Monday May 30, 2016

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Advance Healthcare Credits

Under the Affordable Care Act, many American taxpayers with low or moderate incomes qualify for a Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). On May 26, the IRS announced that it is implementing a new program by July of 2016 to make advance HCTC payments.

During 2014 and 2015, the IRS was able to process HCTC claims after taxpayers filed their income tax returns. The new program will be available in states where the Health Plan Administrator meets IRS requirements and signs a Memorandum of Understanding.

The new system is dependent upon creation of procedures to confirm taxpayers are qualified to receive HCTC. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) published a May 16 report on the IRS efforts to develop an “Affordable Care Act Validation System” (ACV).

This ACV has been tested and is now in operation. Since 2014, taxpayers must report their healthcare coverage on tax returns. Some low and moderate income taxpayers receive HCTC, while others without qualifying healthcare must make a Shared Responsibility Payment.

ACV has passed federal data security requirements to become operational. It is now used to check taxpayer compliance with both the HCTC and the Shared Responsibility Payments.

Ryan Plans June Release of Task Force Proposals

In February, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan(R-WI) appointed six working groups. Each group was assigned one major area of potential legislation. At a Washington press briefing on May 25, Ryan announced that the six groups will all release detailed reports in June.

The first report will be from the poverty task force. Ryan stated that this task force's report on poverty issues will be published the week of May 30. He continued, “What you will see with each of these are detailed policy papers.”

The six task forces include the following:

1. Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility – The goal is to improve the safety net and enhance educational programs to help people to move from welfare to work and be empowered to live productive lives.

2. National Security – This task force will develop a strategy for the required military capabilities to confront national security threats in the 21st century.

3. Tax Reform – The goal of this group is to create jobs, grow the economy, raise wages, remove special interest carve-outs and make the tax code simpler and fairer.

4. Reducing Regulatory Burdens – It must become easier to invest, produce and build things in America through a less burdensome regulatory system. The government must still protect the environment, public safety and consumer interests.

5. Health Care Reform – A patient-centered system should be created with greater choice, control, higher quality and reduced cost.

6. Restoring Constitutional Authority – Reform the executive rule making process, exercise the power of the purse and create a system for Congress to exercise greater oversight over Executive departments.

Editor’s Note: Major tax reform and other bills are likely to be delayed until 2017. Speaker Ryan is preparing the pathway for introduction of bills in all six areas.

Published May 27, 2016
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