A couple hare-brained schemes for escaping the Obamacare tax penalty

So this year the feds have two miserable deadlines for freelancers: There used to be just tax day, when you pay an obnoxiously large portion of your income—I swear, the payroll tax the self-employed have to pay is higher than social security paycheck-leeching is at a normal job—so that the government has the dosh to bomb strangers in foreign countries* and to give free money to all the helpless breeders and annoying assburgers you know who’ve convinced SSI that they’re too crazy to work.

But now there’s more tooth-gnashing fun earlier in the winter: if I don’t grit my teeth and pony up for the very nearly worthless Obamacare Bronze Package by February 15 I have to pay a tax penalty. Which means I either have to pay money for nothing—well, besides subsidizing health care for all those single moms I’m physically incapable of knocking up—or pay slightly more money for next to nothing. But wait! Not so fast! There’s a list of exceptions:

Are You Exempt From the Obamacare Penalty?

Even if you don’t have insurance, you won’t have to pay the penalty if you qualify for one of the following exemptions:
  • You are uninsured for fewer than three months of the year.
  • You prove that you can’t afford coverage — that is, premiums for a “bronze” policy cost more than 8% of your earnings.
  • You don’t have to file a federal income tax return because your income is too low.
  • You are a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe.
  • You are a member of a health care sharing ministry.
  • You are a member of a recognized religion that objects to health insurance.
  • You are in the United States illegally.
  • You are incarcerated.
You may be eligible for an exemption under other circumstances, as well — for instance, if you can show that obtaining coverage would subject you to serious financial hardship. Qualifying financial difficulties may include homelessness, eviction, domestic violence, death of a loved one, a medical emergency, or a natural disaster. 
Let’s have a vote: which is my best bet for evading the tax penalty? Should I renounce my citizenship,  or put my money where my mouth is and start a fistfight with Lena Dunham? As fun as the latter sounds to me, if the U.S. ever gets it together enough to throw me off their soil, I might eventually be able to get asylum somewhere nice and warm. February in Chicago turns you into a lunatic.
*If I’m giving the government my hard-earned money to kill people, shouldn’t I be able to earmark that money for use in the slaughter of people I personally dislike? Killing random foreigners does nothing for me.

Comments

  1. MRDA

    On the one hand, the prospect of a Lena Dunham Ann-ihilation sounds like a hoot; on the other, the UK's at least warm-er than how you describe Chicago, if nowt else.

    Decisions, decisions…

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      Ann Sterzinger

      Oh, oh, I get it: I'm paranoid enough that I thought you meant Dunham would beat me in a fight. You meant your vote was that I should beat her up. Shew, I won't have to track you down and beat YOU up then. To anyone who actually does think that girl could kick my ass: please take a high school physics class.

  2. some wretch

    I wonder what the choices of "recognized religious sect" are. It's probably too late to convert, but still there's always next year.

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