Reading Eagle’s Matthew Nojiri says Obamacare open enrollment Round Two to target Reading. (PA ACA news)

Front page of the print Reading Eagle this morning.

What Nojiri is reporting, and what I sensed during the tax season is right on. The 2013-14 open enrollment really didn’t reach a crescendo until March. That’s when the buzz, and the reality, of people signing up and getting was at the peak. There are a large handful of people who probably wanted policies, and don’t have them, because it all ended April 1. (If you didn’t have something started by then, you were probably going to be out of luck.)

Now that you have the anti-Obama Kentucky senators pretending that their state’s popular “KYnect” program isn’t really ACA, isn’t really “Obamacare”, the Republicans are finally shutting their mouths about health care reform. The policies are affordable. In the main, much more access has been granted to health resources than has been taken away. This, probably by a factor of a hundred to one.

So it pays for community groups to get active, throughout the summer, and tell people what they have to do come November. This time around, the website is going to be there–and working. People who still don’t have the specifics as to the program are going to be able to rely not just on outreach, but many customers who already picked up Marketplace policies. In Pennsylvania, as I mentioned last month, this is about 318,000 people. All else equal, there are probably ten or twenty thousand in both Berks and Lancaster counties.

17 comments

  1. Tristan · June 4, 2014

    Hey there man, I came across your blog recently while looking at tax issues in Japan and America. You specifically talked about the company Gaba and Americans potentially being charged self-employment tax by the US because they were “self-employed” according the eikaiwa contract. You mentioned knowing some Americans you knew in this predicament. I understand it’s been a couple of years, so I totally understand if you don’t remember what all happened with that situation… But!

    I was wondering if you could offer me any insight. I’m in a similar boat now. I pay pension and insurance in Japan out of pocket and work for one of these “eikaiwa” chains. I file my taxes in America as anyone would, but do they expect some kind of “self-employment” payment or proof that I pay pension?

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

  2. Tristan · June 4, 2014

    Hey there man, I came across your blog recently while looking at tax issues in Japan and America. You specifically talked about the company Gaba and Americans potentially being charged self-employment tax by the US because they were “self-employed” according the eikaiwa contract. You mentioned knowing some Americans you knew in this predicament. I understand it’s been a couple of years, so I totally understand if you don’t remember what all happened with that situation…

    I was wondering if you could offer me any insight. I’m in a similar boat now. I pay pension and insurance in Japan out of pocket while working for one of these “eikaiwa” chains. I file my taxes in America as anyone would, but do they (US taxes) expect some kind of “self-employment” payment or proof that I pay pension in Japan? Or am I good and just over-worrying?

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • hoofin · June 4, 2014

      You are good. If you were over there saying you were an “independent contractor” and not in the Japanese system, that would be a cause for worry.

      • Tristan · June 5, 2014

        Thanks so much! I appreciate the fast answer!

        I don’t need to send any proof of paying pension to Japan to the IRS? I’m good to go?

        • hoofin · June 5, 2014

          You just need to obtain a J-USA/6 form from your local Japan Pension Service office, and hold on to it. The office may not know what that is. You need this in case you ever work any self-employment in Japan. Since you are in the correct (Japanese) program, you don’t have to pay SE tax to America.

          • Tristan · June 5, 2014

            Thanks man, no one else on the net seems to have any idea about this.

            Ok then. So I go to my local pension office, ask them for this form “J-USA/6” and that’s it? If the taxes in US ask later, I just show them this form? I don’t have to send them anything? When you say “hold onto it” just as long as I have it ready to show, I’m good? Also, I may be going back to the states in a couple years.

          • Tristan · June 5, 2014

            Also I’ve been here for almost 4 years now. Should I just send the IRS the j-USA/6 with my NEXT tax return? Or just hold on to it and send it if they ask? I know the US would not necessarily look at an itaku worker the same as the Japanese system seems to.

            • hoofin · June 5, 2014

              The Japan Pension Service doesn’t have an example available, but I have one from when it was the Social Insurance Agency: https://hoofin.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/usa10.pdf

              You are right that you just need to hold onto it. In the event you have self-employment income, it probably pays to send a copy with the 1040, to show you are dodging the SE tax.

            • Tristan · June 5, 2014

              Yeah. My big concern is: does the US view itaku workers as self-employed? Would they expect me to file as self-employed, because that’s what a contract here says? That’s what my biggest worry has been. Do I just hang on and hope the US sees itaku as actual employment? Or do I send the j-USA6 right now/with my next year’s 1040 and jive with what the eikaiwa system says? I have no idea.

            • hoofin · June 5, 2014

              If you are paying nenkin, then obtain a J/USA-6. There is no “file as self employed”, except if you mean report it as wage income or as Schedule C business income. If you have J/USA-6, it is your evidence that you are not obligated to pay SE tax. It takes a while for the Japanese to get this back to you, as I recall. It is worth the hassle, though, because it takes the issue of SE tax off the table. Probably most Japan-side Americans cheat and don’t declare the SE income. But it sounds like you want to do things the right way.

            • Tristan · June 5, 2014

              Sorry.😦 When I say “file” I mean “put it on the 1040 as wages”. I do want to do the right thing, for sure. I’ve been agonizing over all of this for a while.

              I suppose what I’ll do is just get the j-USA/6 and then send it with my next 1040 next year, and I should be good to go. Hopefully the US will see I’ve been paying pension since I got to Japan and all will be well, I would imagine.

  3. Tristan · June 9, 2014

    Hello again! I went to the pension office as you suggested. They didn’t understand why I wanted the j-USA/6 and they gave me the equivalent of a receipt instead, with what I paid and the start date, etc. they said since I’m not in the us system it wasn’t necessary, since I moved to Japan for now. Do you think what they gave me is good enough? Should send this “receipt” to the IRS or just hold on to it?

    • hoofin · June 9, 2014

      You’re not in the US system?

      • Tristan · June 9, 2014

        Not that I know of. I left America a few years ago and haven’t done anything with the American system, besides filing my taxes and reporting what I make at the eikaiwa, and negating that using the 2555ez. I’ve been in the insurance and pension system in Japan basically since the moment I got here. I plan to go back to the US in a couple years and just start paying into the American system when I get a job again. Am I good to go?

        • hoofin · June 9, 2014

          You are probably good to go, because you have at least some evidence that you are paying Japan. So if you have income from self-employment, the Service should not come after you for SE tax. It’s hard to see how you would not be in the US system, since nearly everyone gets a social security card as an infant, probably since the late 1980s.

          • Tristan · June 9, 2014

            Oh, I’m IN the US system. I’m sorry to be unclear. I have an SSN and all that. I used to pay social security and stuff when I worked in the US. I just mean I haven’t been PAYING into the US system since I came to Japan. I’ve been exclusively in the Japanese pension/insurance system since I arrived here, without doing anything regarding that stuff back in America. I just wasn’t sure if I needed to give anything to the IRS since I’m not PAYING into their system now, living in Asia and all?

            • hoofin · June 9, 2014

              They should give you a J/USA-6 to certify that you are properly enrolled in the J-system, whether or not you are doing self-employment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s