Thursday, July 4, 2013

Apparently research is also too taxing...

Today's chain email is one that is claiming the outdoors store Cabela's to be a champion for the American people. The claim is that they are going out of their way to prove that the Affordable Care Act is really just a big tax scheme. But is that true? Here's the email: 
The 2.3% Medical Excise Tax that began on January 1st is supposed to be "hidden" from the consumer, but it's been brought to the public's attention by hunting and fishing store Cabela's who have refused to hide it and are showing it as a separate line item tax on their receipts, the email states.
I did some research and found directly from the IRS's website information that PROVES this to be true and an accurate portrayal of something hidden in Obamacare that I was not aware of! Now being skeptical of this I went to the IRS website and found this!

Q1. What is the medical device excise tax? A1. Section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer or importer of the device.

Q2. When does the tax go into effect? A2. The tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices after Dec. 31, 2012.

Q3. How much is the tax? A3. The tax is 2.3 percent of the sale price of the taxable medical device. See Chapter 5 of IRS Publication 510, Excise Taxes, and Notice 2012-77 for additional information on the determination of sale price. Chapter Five
So being more curious I clicked on "Chapter 5

of IRS Publication 510."

And what do I find under "MEDICAL DEVICES" under


The following discussion of manufacturers taxes

applies to the tax on:

Sport fishing equipment;

Fishing rods and fishing poles;

Electric outboard motors;

Fishing tackle boxes;

Bows, quivers, broadheads, and points;

Arrow shafts;


Taxable tires;

Gas guzzler automobiles; and

Vaccines. I think we have definitely been fooled, if we believe that the Affordable Care Act is all about health care. It truly does appear to be nothing more than a bill laden with a whole lot of taxes that we the people have yet to be aware of.
Please pass this on . I am still incredulous that this can go on .Where is our press ? I guess it’s just like Nancy Pelosi said…….We have to pass it to see what is in it. What is next?
 Okay, there are some things about the email that are actually correct, and some that are not. But it is misleading in it's totality. A quick google search would have made that quite clear, but why research when we can simply blindly follow our preconceived notions?

Let's start with the claim that Cabela's was listing this tax on purpose as a way to 'stick it to' President Obama... That part is completely inaccurate. The Medical Excise Tax line-item actually appeared on their receipts by mistake. A software glitch had the double impact of listing the tax, and incorrectly changing the tax on the entire order, rather than on just eligible items. Cabela's has actually admitted this fault and has said that all errant taxes would be credited to customers.

The second problem is the claim that non-medical devices are now being taxed under the Medical Excise Tax. Again, this is just untrue. While there is a 2.3% tax placed on medical devices, you can rest assured that your hunting boots and fishing rod are not on the list of 'medical devices'.

But what about chapter five, you ask? Well, this is actually a list of separate manufacturers taxes. These excise taxes are actually nothing new at all. For example, the fishing equipment is on that list as part of the Sport Fish Restoration Act. These taxes actually took effect way back in 1950. And the archery equipment taxes? That would be the Wildlife Restoration Program of 1975. And no Democrat conspiracy claims on that one, as Gerald Ford was in office then. The other items on the list are taxed due to their own separate, and older taxes, and not as medical devices.

So what we have here is a misleading email that is not only spreading misinformation, but is also championing a company for making a mistake that wrongly charged people a tax they should have never been changed. Not exactly my idea of a hero or role-model... Perhaps instead of surrendering to our biased views, we should take a step back and actually look to see what's true. If you do, I feel that the experience is one that is greatly rewarding.

-Brain Hulk

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