Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the Internal Revenue Service assisted an Obama administration effort to convince Americans who were potentially facing an Obamacare tax penalty to purchase health insurance.
As part of a $5 million effort with the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House’s Behavioral Sciences Team, the IRS helped draft letters to send to Americans who had claimed an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The draft letters warned about how much the tax penalty could be in 2017: at least $695 per adult and $347 per child, limited to $2,085 per family, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
“Attached are drafts of the letters that IRS will send to selected taxpayers who paid a penalty for failure to have coverage or who claimed an exemption from the coverage requirement for tax year 2015,” Janet McCubbin, director of individual taxation at the IRS, explained to the administration. “As you know, we are planning to send several different versions of the letter to see which types of messages work best.”
The draft letter also advertised the health insurance plans available through the federal exchange at HealthCare.gov.
“The law requires people to have a minimum level of health coverage, qualify for an exemption, or pay a penalty when they file their taxes,” the draft letter obtained by Judicial Watch reads. “Our records show you claimed an exemption from the health coverage requirement when you filed your 2015 taxes. If you or someone in your family doesn’t have health insurance or an exemption next year, you’ll likely owe a penalty for 2017. We are writing to make sure you know how you can avoid this penalty by signing up for health insurance or getting an exemption.”
“So now we have more evidence of more Obama IRS abuses targeting innocent Americans — all in the name of Obamacare,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said.