Tags: Healthcare Reform | Matt Drudge | Obamacare | healthcare | penalty

Drudge Angers White House by Paying Obamacare Penalty Early

By Drew MacKenzie   |   Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 08:35 AM

Internet heavyweight Matt Drudge has angered the White House for saying that he’s just paid his Obamacare tax for 2014 in his quarterly estimates.

On Twitter, he declared in a March 21 post, "Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'...I'M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!"

According to Investors.com, 22 minutes later, White House spokesman Jesse Lee hit back with a tweet saying, "Flat lie. No fee for previous year."

Editor's Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself.

Drudge, who runs the online Drudge Report, is attempting to make the point that the owners of small businesses like him have to pay their estimated quarterly taxes during 2014 with any outstanding taxes being paid by April 15, 2015.

In his case, Drudge has decided to opt out of the individual mandate that he sign up for health insurance or pay the penalty, or tax, for not enrolling. Drudge is paying the tax now instead of waiting for April of next year when he could pay an IRS fine for not filling out his quarterly taxes correctly.

His tweet was also attacked by The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog. "Drudge proudly tells the world he paid the penalty for not having health coverage, which he has termed the 'liberty tax'," according to the blog. "Which is odd, because no one has to pay the penalty until they file their 2014 tax returns in April 2015."

Drudge followed up his message with another tweet, saying, "Dazed team Obama media reporters think Opt-Out tax 'year away'? Not for small businesses that file Qtr estimates. We're there now, baby."

Investors.com quoted the IRS website to prove that Drudge was correct in paying his Obamacare "opt-out" tax this year. "As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly," the IRS site says.

And the report noted that the IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes specifically recommends adding the mandate penalty to line 12 for "other taxes" — to pay before the first quarterly deadline of April 15.

On Fox News Channel’s "The Five," the hosts slammed the White House for using a "cheap shot" to call Drudge "a liar" and saying he’s "inconsequential."

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"The Five’s" Eric Bolling said that Drudge has about 810 million unique users a month compared to WhiteHouse.gov, which has around 4.5 million.

"The White House takes a shot at Matt Drudge, and Drudge is putting up 175 times more unique views than WhiteHouse.gov," says Bolling. "Back off, guys."

And Dana Perino defended Drudge for "erring on the side of caution" for complying with the tax code. "If you don’t want the IRS on your tail, you had better do the right thing and pay the penalty in advance when you do your quarterly taxes," Perino said.

Editor's Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself.

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