Noem Urges IRS and HHS to Offer Relief for Farmers Sent Wrong Obamacare Form
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today urged Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Burwell, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to offer relief for farmers who were sent incorrect Obamacare tax forms. Earlier this month, the IRS admitted to sending 800,000 incorrect Form 1095-As – a mistake that will uniquely impact farmers who have an earlier tax filing date and therefore less time to wait for the correct forms to arrive.
“I am extremely concerned about the effect the government’s mistake will have on hardworking South Dakota farmers, as they are subject to unique filing deadlines,” said Noem. “Certainly, farmers are in need of relief similar to that which was previously announced for individuals who had already filed. Their financial independence should not be in any way put at risk because of yet another ‘glitch’ in the implementation of the President’s health care law.”
Rep. Noem is a member of the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, giving her jurisdiction over the IRS on matters such as this. The Congresswoman’s letter to Secretary Burwell, Commissioner Koskinen, and Secretary Lew can be found below.
February 26, 2015
The Honorable Sylvia Burwell
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
The Honorable John Koskinen
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20225
Dear Secretary Burwell and Commissioner Koskinen,
As you know, the President’s health care law requires taxpayers who receive health insurance through the Federal health insurance exchange – including many South Dakotans – to rely on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1095-A to prepare their Federal tax returns. While the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides this form to taxpayers, recent media reports indicate that HHS recently sent approximately 800,000 incorrect Form 1095-As to taxpayers across the country.
To be sure, the government’s error places an additional and needless burden on taxpayers – on top of the already onerous obligation to comply with the healthcare mandate. I am particularly concerned, however, with the effect that the government’s mistake will have on South Dakota farmers, as farmers are subject to unique filing deadlines. Under Internal Revenue Code (Code) § 6654, farmers are permitted, in lieu of quarterly estimated tax payments, to pay their total tax for the year by March 1st of the following year. For this year, the due date for farmers to file their 2014 tax returns and remit their total payment is next Monday, March 2, 2015. This means that a farmer who received an erroneous Form 1095-A, has five days including today to meet his filing obligation without the correct information from the Federal government. And, compounding the situation, the IRS has directed taxpayers who received these incorrect forms not to file their tax returns until corrected forms are sent.
Clearly, farmers are in need of immediate relief similar to that recently announced for individuals who have already filed their 2014 tax returns. In similar situations, such as the delayed passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), the IRS has historically used its authority under Code § 6654(e)(3) to extend the filing due date for farmers and waive relevant tax penalties.
As a Member of the Oversight Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means, I am committed to ensuring that your agencies implement the nation’s tax and health laws in a fair and reasonable manner. To guarantee that South Dakota farmers will receive relief from the government’s error, please provide the following information as soon as possible:
1) Will the IRS provide an extended filing due date for farmers affected by erroneous Form 1095-As? If so, when will that extension be announced, and will it include guidance similar to that which was provided in response to ATRA?
2) Will farmers who are forced to file an amended return or refile be subject to a penalty and/or interest on any underpayment of tax? If so, will the IRS grant relief from such penalties and/or interest in this case and how should affected farmers apply for that relief?
Thank you for your assistance in this matter. If you have any questions, please contact my staff at 202-225-2801.
Member of Congress
CC: The Honorable Jacob Lew, Treasury Secretary