Awareness on tax and health insurance held in Iowa


Bhutanese Community in Iowa (BCI) organized one day awareness program November 23, on tax filing and held discussion about the Obama Care (Affordable Care Act) in a hall managed by Lutheran Social Services 3200 University Ave, Des Moines City. The program was initiated by Bhutanese Community Education Committee under BCI in order to create an awareness and explain the value of tax preparation. The program was focused to all the general public of BCI to understand exactly about EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Business tax, SSI, unemployment insurance, Independent employee/contract, W2 forms, 1099 forms etc. Attorney Mr. Jason Burdick of Iowa Legal Aid was the main speaker for the program. He explained in detail on each topic of tax matters and also answered questions raised by the public. He also mentioned clearly about the consequences, lefts and rights, if tax matters are not handled or solved properly in given time of the year. He addressed clearly about the difference between W2 and 1099 forms and about an employee’s responsibilities and independent business owners. He cautioned the attendees about not to fall prey to IRS red list of defaulters.

Participants with facilitator attorney John
Participants with facilitator attorney Jason. Picture courtesy: Prabesh Rai

The program started at 10 a.m with welcome speech and program announcement by Birkha Gurung. This was one of the events of public importance held on tax matters for new Bhutanese Americans in Iowa. Attorney Mr. Jason also explained in brief about Obama Care and its importance especially for the low income families in the community. He stressed further about the consequences for not following tax rules and not having insurance according to affordable care act, that may result to penalties. Mr. Jason further pointed out that documented tax preparer would be most suitable to get assistance for those who have eligible income levels to file the tax during tax filing season. He also encourage all residents of Iowa to network with Iowa Legal Aid if required to resolve any nature of legal problem freely, especially applied to the low income families. About fifty community members participated in awareness program.

The Awareness program was possible by the joint efforts and active co-ordination of all the community members, attorney Mr. Jason Burdick, the president of BCI,Mr. Harka Lal Biswa, board members Gopal Khadga, Tika Bastola, S.B.Gurung, the chairman of education committee of BCI. Mr.Gurung volunteered to serve interpreter for the program.
Harka Biswa, expressed his deep gratitude to attorney Jason for his time and expertise to aware about matters of vital importance like health insurance and tax credit.

Contributed by S B Gurung from Des Moines