Affordable Care Act

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Affordable Care Act


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Old 11th December 2014, 09:55 AM
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Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in philippines.
Default Affordable Care Act

I moved from the US (Las Vegas) to my home in the Philippines in July. I didn't signup for Obamacare as it was too expensive. A bronze plan on the Nevada health exchange was 640 dollars a month with a 12,000 deductible. I am 63 and my wife is 49. That's not exactly "affordable" health care if you get my drift. It's basically 640 a month for catastrophic coverage. Now I am in a position where I subject to the ACA penalty as I did not meet the 330 day out of country requirement. My wife however will meet the 330 day requirement and should be exempt from the penalty. Has anyone seen the "new" IRS tax forms? I have been Googling and Googling to no avail. I did see some "drafts" and on the 1040 draft was a line item relating to the ACA and the penalty but it referred you to the "instructions" but of course I can't find the "instructions" anywhere on the internet. My question is what proof does the IRS want to see to prove that you have been out of the country and hence exempt from the ACA? Will the Philippine address on the 1040 suffice? Do they want to see a visa?
I realize that the ACA is not ready for primetime but this is ridiculous as there is very little information out there relative to expats and the ACA. I was curious how much the same plan was going to in 2015 and guess what? It's now 740 a month with a 12,600 dollar deductible. That's a 15% premium increase and a 600 dollar deductible increase. Thanks Obama, your ACA was a big factor in my decision to live in the Philippines permanently!

PS. I am a newbie to the forum and spent most of the day going though old posts. This is a great resource for expats!
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Old 11th December 2014, 10:20 AM
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Welcome to the Forum.

Great questions and probably no easy answers. As a minimum, I think you need to declare your tax home as the residence in the Philippines. I would engage a CPA back home to validate how to best avoid the penalties.

Here is some reading that may or may not answer your questions;

Questions and Answers on the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision

ACA – Obamacare’s Effects on American Expats Living Abroad | Surviving Yucatan


I have been working abroad for the last seven years and the first year is always tough getting the tax year aligned with the 330 day requirement (which is why I am referring you to find a CPA that could explain it better).

Most likely nothing will be published until Feb 1 (after the W2 publishing deadline). That has been my experience with using TurboTax.

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Last edited by jon1; 11th December 2014 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 11th December 2014, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbobo View Post
I moved from the US (Las Vegas) to my home in the Philippines in July. I didn't signup for Obamacare as it was too expensive. A bronze plan on the Nevada health exchange was 640 dollars a month with a 12,000 deductible. I am 63 and my wife is 49. That's not exactly "affordable" health care if you get my drift. It's basically 640 a month for catastrophic coverage. Now I am in a position where I subject to the ACA penalty as I did not meet the 330 day out of country requirement. My wife however will meet the 330 day requirement and should be exempt from the penalty. Has anyone seen the "new" IRS tax forms? I have been Googling and Googling to no avail. I did see some "drafts" and on the 1040 draft was a line item relating to the ACA and the penalty but it referred you to the "instructions" but of course I can't find the "instructions" anywhere on the internet. My question is what proof does the IRS want to see to prove that you have been out of the country and hence exempt from the ACA? Will the Philippine address on the 1040 suffice? Do they want to see a visa?
I realize that the ACA is not ready for primetime but this is ridiculous as there is very little information out there relative to expats and the ACA. I was curious how much the same plan was going to in 2015 and guess what? It's now 740 a month with a 12,600 dollar deductible. That's a 15% premium increase and a 600 dollar deductible increase. Thanks Obama, your ACA was a big factor in my decision to live in the Philippines permanently!

PS. I am a newbie to the forum and spent most of the day going though old posts. This is a great resource for expats!
Howdy and welcome to the forum; it's good to have you here. As usual, Jon1 has good info for us. Thanks Jon. Where do you keep all this stored? Hahaha.

On your proof of when you or your wife arrived here, it seems to me that a photo copy of you ID page and entrance stamp of your passport should do it. {That's only a guess}

On tax issues as well as forms, your very best bet is the website for the
US Embassy in Manila. The Social Security office there (I have found) has oodles of information and are more knoledgable in Social Security and tax than offices in the US. This is because they deal with international issues with this every day. I have found them to be of the greatest help many times.

Another good place for help and information is the VFW Post in Angeles City. They have tax help there at tax time if needed and can give info and ideas on things and issues that even the embassy can't.



Best Of Luck

Jet Lag
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Last edited by Asian Spirit; 11th December 2014 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 11th December 2014, 11:02 AM
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https://turbotax.intuit.com/

I'm not promoting it's use, but I use Turbotax every year and it's now available to begin, (BUT NOT YET FILE) 2014 returns. You could go through all the steps for free and see what happens when you get to your situation and see if it solves your dilemma.
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Old 11th December 2014, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Lag View Post

On your proof of when you or your wife arrived here, it seems to me that a photo copy of you ID page and entrance stamp of your passport should do it. {That's only a guess}
I think that you will only have to show the stamps should you be audited. I have never had to attach a photo of my visa stamps on my tax return.

Like Jet said, it would probably be worth it to contact someone at the embassy for help. They sometimes have an IRS person come for seminars also. Check on the embassy web page for any updates or outreaches.
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Old 11th December 2014, 10:55 PM
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Mrbobo, I’m not American so I can’t comment on your health care or IRS queries. However, my wife and I do a fair bit of travelling so we tend to keep a decent spreadsheet which helps us keep track of where we’ve been for tax purposes. We don’t like carrying paperwork around either, so apart from essential original documents, we tend to scan everything.

In case proof of travel is requested, we keep e-mails confirming airline tickets; we also scan the boarding ticket and then throw away the original. So far, we’ve had no problems and these items have always been accepted by the Inland Revenue who are responsible for tax matters in the UK. Yes, it can be a pain in the *** remembering to scan certain items at times, but the more evidence you have to show these guys, the more likely they are to accept your version of events, if and when you need to prove something. Good luck!

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Last edited by Asian Spirit; 12th December 2014 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 11th December 2014, 11:33 PM
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Thanks Mabrouk, that's sound advice. I must be prepared when Uncle Sam comes looking for me!

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Old 12th December 2014, 12:08 AM
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First you can download turbotax 2014 from Amazon and several other sites. I have done so already just waiting for my 1099Rs to arrive. Good thing you did not signup for Obamacare it would be a waste of time in my opinion. You said you moved here but did not mention are you on a pension? Do you collect Social Security? The reason I ask is this will be a factor in insurance. For example I pay Medicare Part B which is a requirement to use TRICARE here in the Philippines (since I am retired military) I Googled for months and never found an insurance that was useful here since your over 60 the companies here in PI WILL NOT insure you. If you find one please share it. There are companies in the U.S that will insure you but it cost more than its worth. Outpatient stuff is not as expensive as in the U.S. but Surgeries are costly. Good luck finding insurance.
I spent the last 15 years outside the U.S. the 330 rules change. First you need to determine if you meet the Bona Fide Residence Test as you do not meet the Physical Presence Test thats the 330 rule. I HAVE NEVER had to prove with my Passport or anything else that I was outside the country. But I did provide them with a Physical Address outside the U.S. and I did provide an address of my employer outside the U.S. Since arriving in PI 2.5 years ago I only provided my resident address. I also kept a spread sheet of where I was outside the U.S. As mentioned the first year is the toughest to figure out. If you get a CPA make sure they know the rules most CPAs in the US are not up to speed living outside the U.S.
One other thing you need to be aware of is the banking policies most banks here file info with the IRS some do not. Anything over 10k must be reported also look into FBAR Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. I say this so you can know the rules to keep the IRS out of your business as much as possible.
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Old 12th December 2014, 12:22 AM
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Found this at Ask an Expat: 5 questions about how Obamacare applies to US expats ‚€” The Tico Times

I am moving abroad in the middle of the year. Will the mandate apply to me?

Answer: It depends on when you move. The individual mandate allows you to be without insurance or an exemption for up to three months in a year without paying a penalty. So, if you moved abroad in March you would not have to worry. If you moved later than that, you would need to have minimum insurance coverage for the months between March and when you moved. Claiming the exemption on your tax return for the months where you are abroad will be more difficult under this scenario, but should be possible with the help of a qualified tax preparer.

http://blogs.angloinfo.com/us-tax/20...and-obamacare/

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Old 12th December 2014, 12:37 AM
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c_acton98,

Obamacare is not only a waste of time it is also a waste of money! Like I said in my last post last year's 640 dollars premium is now 740 dollars, a 15% increase. That's all water under the bridge now as I am permanently living in the Philippines. I will eat the 1% penalty this year as I don't meet the 330. I am a retiree receiving a pension and SS. I just turned 64 and will be eligible for Medicare next December. I realize that I cannot partake of Medicare while living in the Philippines. I am pretty healthy (knock on wood) and plan on paying for my own healthcare while living in the Philippines. If I do get sick in the next few years it's probably going to be something really bad and its good to know that I could go to Guam or back to the US for treatment. or burial should that be the case!
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