From time to time people forward me chain emails related to tax issues that are swirling around the internet, asking me if they are true or not. Lately, a couple of them have been sent to me repeatedly. Let’s deal with them here:

Scam #1
AN EMAIL SAYS THE NEW HEALTH CARE LAW WILL REQUIRE THE VALUE OF EMPLOYER PROVIDED HEALTH CARE TO BE SHOWN ON YOUR W-2 FORMS AND FOR YOU TO BE TAXED ON IT. This is not entirely correct, but also not completely incorrect either. While it is true that the Obamacare law will require employers to disclose the value of employer provided health care benefits on your annual W-2 forms, the law does not make them taxable. Presumably the bill writers wanted all of us to know how much our health care costs are, and will require employers to also show it to IRS. The more cynical amongst you might suspect that taxation will come later…..but it isn’t here now.

Scam #2
AN EMAIL SAYS THAT THE IRS WILL REQUIRE ALL GUN OWNERS TO LIST ALL FIREARMS THEY OWN ON TAX RETURNS AND PAY AN ANNUAL TAX ON THEM. It also usually states that the registration and tax scheme will be imposed by the Senate Finance Committee without ever getting a floor vote in Congress. This one lit up a bunch of my friends, and got my inbox plugged faster than a blackpowder rifle shooting FFg! It’s completely untrue, but actually has some basis for its origin. Apparently a congressman from Rhode Island proposed something very similar in the year 2000, offering up a bill which languished and ultimately died in committee. However even if it had progressed through the system it would have had to have been voted on.