by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Get your billions back, America! (And give a bunch of it to H&R Block.)
Five years ago, a bevy of high-priced H&R Block lobbyists worked on the tax preparation company’s behalf to shape the Affordable Care Act.
And this April 15, those efforts are set to pay off in a big way for the company.
H&R Block is well positioned to earn more than $100 million in additional fees from low-income Obamacare enrollees as they face the daunting challenge to properly file this year’s complicated health-related tax forms.
Consumers are familiar with H&R Block’s massive “Get Your Billions Back” ad campaign that includes direct appeals to Obamacare recipients who will have to file health information on this year’s IRS tax forms. …
… The company has admitted Obamacare will impose major changes on taxpayers, stating in a Jan. 5 press release that the health-care law had produced “the biggest tax code change in the last 20 years.”
H&R Block’s decision to seek windfall profits from the Obamacare law also has riled some of its competitors, which are instead providing free help to low-income enrollees in filling out the complex tax forms.
Ryan Ellis, the tax policy director at Americans for Tax Reform and a former H&R Block senior preparer told TheDC that the company hopes to profit from the plight of Obamacare enrollees and those without health insurance who, for the first time, will have to file special tax forms related to their health-care coverage.
Ellis said the Obamacare participants are the “real target audience. It’s an alignment of interest.”
H&R Block: Bootlegger.