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Last week, GOP leadership revealed its long-awaited plan to repeal and replace Obamacare by publishing the American Health Care Act. Rather than representing a unifying piece of legislation for the Republican party, however, the proposed legislation created an immediate division within the GOP, with many leading Republicans derisively calling the plan “Obamacare Lite” and others questioning the impact it would have on the number of insured individuals, or stated more appropriately, the number of insured voters in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections.

Despite the lukewarm reception with which it was met, the American Health Care Act moved through the House Ways and Means Committee along party lines; though it did require 18 hours of debate, with Democratic committee members decrying the Committee’s willingness to move the bill forward without a complete measure of its cost or the lost insured.

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office answered those questions, releasing its official scoring of the American Health Care Act, and the results are not pretty. An $883 billion tax cut, $274 billion of it going to the richest 2%. $880 billion stripped from Medicare. And 24 million fewer insured individuals over the next ten years.

Let’s take a look at how the CBO came up with the numbers it did. But first, we need to understand a bit about how Obamacare works.

Continue reading on Forbes.com.

 

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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On Friday, July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the “Act”), which extended funding to the Highway Trust Fund (“HTF”) for an additional three months.
This Act contains several important tax provisions, including modified due dates for several common tax returns, overruling of the Supreme Court’s Home Concrete decision, required additional information on mortgage information statements, and required consistent basis reporting between estates and beneficiaries.
Tax Return Due Date Modifications

The Act sets new due dates for partnership and C corporation returns, as well as FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”), and several other IRS information returns.

Partnership Returns

The new due date is March 15 (for calendar-year partnerships) and the 15th day of the third month following the close of the fiscal year (for fiscal-year partnerships). Currently, these returns are due on April 15 for calendar-year partnerships. The Act directs the IRS to allow a maximum extension of six months for Forms 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income.

C Corporations

The new due date is the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the corporation’s year. Currently, these returns are due on the 15th day of the third month following the close of the corporation’s year.

Corporations will be allowed a six-month extension, except that calendar-year corporations would get a five-month extension until 2026 and corporations with a June 30 year end would get a seven-month extension until 2026.

The new due dates will apply to returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015. However, for C corporations with fiscal years ending on June 30, the new due dates will not apply until tax years beginning after December 31, 2025.

Other Forms Affected

The new Act directs the IRS to modify its regulations to allow the following maximum extensions:

5 and 1/2 months on Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts;
3 and 1/2 months on Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan;
6 months on Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, Form 5227, Split-Interest Trust Information Return, Form 6069, Return of Excise Tax on Excess Contributions to Black Lung Benefit Trust Under Section 4953 and Computation of Section 192 Deduction, Form 8870, Information Return for Transfers Associated With Certain Personal Benefit Contracts, and Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of a Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner.
The due date for Form 3520, Annual Return to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, will be April 15 for calendar-year filers, with a maximum six-month extension.

FinCEN 114 (former FBAR)

The due date for FinCEN Form 114 is changed from June 30 to April 15, and for the first time taxpayers will be allowed a six-month extension to October 15.

Additional Information on Mortgage Interest Related Returns

The Act amends Sec. 6050H to require new information on the mortgage information statements that are required to be sent to individuals who pay more than $600 in mortgage interest in a year. These statements will now be required to report the outstanding principal on the mortgage at the beginning of the calendar year, the address of the property securing the mortgage, and the mortgage origination date. This change applies to returns and statements due after December 31, 2016.

Changes Related to Basis Reporting Between Estate and Beneficiaries

The Act amends Sec. 1014 to mandate that anyone inheriting property from a decedent cannot treat the property as having a higher basis than the basis reported by the estate for estate tax purposes. It also creates a new Sec. 6035, which requires executors of estates that are required to file an estate tax return to furnish information returns to the IRS and payee statements to any person acquiring an interest in property from the estate. These statements will identify the value of each interest in property acquired from the estate as reported on the estate tax return. The new basis reporting provisions apply to property with respect to which an estate tax return is filed after the date of enactment.

The Home Concrete Case is Overruled

In Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, 132 S. Ct. 1836 (2012), the Supreme Court held that the extended six-year statute of limitation under Sec. 6501(e)(1)(A), which applies when a taxpayer “omits from gross income an amount properly includible” in excess of 25% of gross income, does not apply when a taxpayer overstates its basis in property it has sold.

In response to this decision, the Act amends Sec. 6501(e)(1)(B) to add this language: “An understatement of gross income by reason of an overstatement of unrecovered cost or other basis is an omission from gross income.” The change applies to returns filed after the date of enactment as well as previously filed returns that are still open under Sec. 6501 (determined without regard to the amendments made by the Act).

If you have any questions, please contact your WithumSmith+Brown professional, a member of WS+B’s National Tax Services Group or email us at taxbriefs@withum.com.

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While I may reside in the outdoor sports mecca of Aspen, Colorado, — a place where having more than 9% body fat qualifies you for a handicapped parking spot — I’m not immune to the country’s growing obesity problem.  I’ve been in a Walmart.  

America’s growing fatter, and to curb our expanding collective waistline, some health experts have proposed adding a 20% surcharge to the purchase price of “unhealthy” foods and drinks. This, it follows, would force individuals to clean up their diets.

A recent study by the British Medical Journal lends credence to such a proposal, concluding that a 20% tax is a meaningful enough penalty to initiate change, with the study concluding that the additinal cost on fatty foods would drop obesity rates by 3.5% and prevent 2,700 heart-related deaths a year.

The proponents of the bill point out the obvious: health care costs are skyrocketing, and a good deal of those costs are dedicated toward treating the obese. The tax would not be precedent setting, supporters argue, because other items deemed unhealthy — specifically, tobacco and alcohol — have long been subject to tax.

On the flip side, there’s the “I’ve got every right to pound a bucket of fried dough without having to pay a penalty, even if it means I have to wash myself with a rag on a stick,” argument, which is, of course, 100% accurate and tremendously difficult to overcome. After all, the Supreme Court just spent three days debating the constitutionality of Obamacare — which required that each individual obtain health insurance or pay a tax — and it’s likely that some powerful people (Ronald McDonald) would view a fat tax as imposing on our civil liberties.

Of course, given the tenuous ground on which our current tax regime stands — what with the Bush tax cuts set to expire in six months and no clear path to Code reform — a fat tax would appear to be relatively low on the priority list. So in the meantime, feel free to supersize it.

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