H&R Block Expects New Business From Obamacare Confusion

January 7, 2015

H&R Block expects a lot of new business from the Affordable Care Act – and that is, of course, a bad thing.

Simply put, while taxes take away money and resources from the private sector economy, tax preparation also takes away money and resources, in a way that is just as real.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans will spend their time dealing with Form 8965 (the form concerning the individual mandate) and Form 8962 (the form concerning the Premium Tax Credit.) Some will invariably hire tax professionals to file these.

To be clear, I really like tax professionals. They’re smart people. They sometimes read my articles, and write in with thoughts and facts that help keep me better informed. But I don’t like to see their tax filing business increase – precisely because they’re so smart and insightful. The world is full of opportunities for people who are smart and good with financial statements, most of which are far more productive than tax compliance. Our country would be a better place if some tax professionals were in other jobs that used their skills to solve real problems.

What is most striking about tax professionals is that they seem to agree with my sentiment, even against their own self-interest. They see themselves as solving a problem for their clients – the problem of an overly-complex tax code. But they don’t actually want to create bad taxes any more than firefighters want to be arsonists. They’d welcome a world in which they had fewer problems to solve.

Obamacare has given them more problems to deal with. Oh well.


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