IRS Reminds Individuals of Health Care Choices for 2014

Feb 25th 2014 : Everyone has important decisions to make concerning health care coverage in 2014.  Starting in 2014, you must choose to either have basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage) for yourself and everyone in your family for each month or go without health care coverage for some or all of the year.

If you don’t maintain health insurance coverage, you will need to either seek an exemption or make an individual shared responsibility payment for the period that you are not covered with the 2014 income tax return you file in 2015.

If you choose to have health care coverage, qualifying coverage includes:

  • health insurance coverage provided by your employer (including COBRA and retiree coverage),
  • health insurance coverage you purchase through a Marketplace,
  • Medicare, Medicaid or other government-sponsored health coverage including programs for veterans, or
  • coverage you buy directly from an insurance company.

If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, you may be eligible for financial assistance including the premium tax credit, which will help lower the out-of-pocket cost of your monthly insurance premiums.  

Qualifying coverage does not include certain coverage that may provide limited benefits, such as coverage only for vision care or dental care, workers’ compensation, or coverage only for a specific disease or condition. 

If you choose to go without coverage or experience a gap in coverage, you may qualify for an exemption if you do not have access to affordable coverage, you have a gap of less than three consecutive months without coverage, or you qualify for one of several other exemptions.  A special hardship exemption applies to individuals who purchase their insurance through the Marketplace during the initial enrollment period but due to the enrollment process have a coverage gap at the beginning of 2014.

If you (or any of your dependents) do not maintain coverage and do not qualify for an exemption, you will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment with your return. In general, the payment amount is either a percentage of your household income or a flat dollar amount, whichever is greater. You will owe 1/12th of the annual payment for each month you (or your dependents) do not have coverage and are not exempt. The annual payment amount for 2014 is the greater of:

  • 1 percent of your household income that is above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status, such as Married Filing Jointly or single, or
  • Your family’s flat dollar amount, which is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, limited to a maximum of $285.

The individual shared responsibility payment is capped at the cost of the national average premium for the bronze level health plan available through the Marketplace in 2014. You will make the payment when you file your 2014 federal income tax return in 2015.

For more information about the individual shared responsibility provision and the premium tax credit, visit IRS.gov/aca. Visit the Department of Health and Human Services at HealthCare.gov for more information about health insurance coverage options and the Health Insurance Marketplace, financial assistance and exemptions.

Affordable Care Act – Individuals

 

Feb 25th 2014 : The Health Insurance Marketplace - Learn about Your Health Insurance Coverage Options

If you don’t have coverage or if you have it but want to find out about other options; help is available at the Health Insurance Marketplace. While no one is required to use the Marketplace, if you need insurance, it may be right for you. The Marketplace is where you can find health insurance coverage options that fit your budget and meet your needs. 

The Department of Health and Human Services administers the requirements for the Marketplace and the health plans they offer.

An open enrollment period to get coverage for 2014 through the Marketplace began on October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014. The start of your coverage depends upon when you enroll.

When you visit the Marketplace, you can fill out one Marketplace application to learn if you can get lower costs based on your income, compare your coverage options side-by-side, and if you choose, you can enroll in health insurance coverage.

If you purchase coverage through the Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit. This refundable tax credit helps people with moderate incomes afford health insurance coverage they purchase through the Marketplace. 

If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to “get it now” by having some or all of the credit paid in advance.  These payments go directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums during 2014.  Or you “get it later” by waiting to  get the credit when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.

The Premium Tax Credit

Feb 25th 2014 : The premium tax credit can help make purchasing health insurance coverage more affordable for people with moderate incomes.  To be eligible for the credit, you generally need to satisfy three rules. 

First, you need to get your health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The open enrollment period to purchase health insurance coverage for 2014 through the Health Insurance Marketplace runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

Second, you need to have household income between one and four times the federal poverty line. For a family of four for tax year 2014, that means income from $23,550 to $94,200.

Third, you can’t be eligible for other coverage, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or sufficiently generous employer-sponsored coverage.

If a  Marketplace determines that you’re likely to qualify for the tax credit at the time you enroll, you have two choices:  You can choose to have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums during 2014.  Or, you can wait to get all of the credit when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.

If you wait to get the credit, it will either increase your refund or lower your balance due.

If you choose to receive the credit in advance, changes in your income or family size will affect the credit that you are eligible to receive.  If the credit on your tax return you file in 2015 does not match the amount you have received in advance, you will have to repay any excess advance payment, or you may get a larger refund if you are entitled to more. It is important to tell your Marketplace about changes in your income or family size as they happen during 2014 because these changes will affect the amount of your credit.

More Information

Find out more about the health care law and the Marketplace atwww.HealthCare.gov.

Starting Jan. 13 Business Tax Filers Can File 2013 Returns

Dec 20, 2013 : The IRS will begin accepting 2013 business tax returns on Monday, Jan. 13. This start date applies to both electronically-filed and paper-filed returns

2014 Tax Season to Open Jan. 31; e-file and Free File Can Speed Refunds

Dec 20, 2013 : The Internal Revenue Service announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encouraged taxpayers to use e-file as the fastest way to receive refunds.

2014 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced

Dec 6, 2013 : The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Treasury and IRS: All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized for Federal Tax Purposes


Aug 30 2013:

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service ruled this week that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Tax Scams to Beware of This Summer


Aug 30 2013:

Are you thinking about taxes while you’re enjoying the warm summer months? Not likely! But the IRS wants you to know that scammers ARE thinking about taxes and ways to dupe you out of your money.

Tax scams can happen anytime of the year, not just during tax season. Three common year-round scams are identity theft, phishing and return preparer fraud. These schemes are on the top of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” list of scams this year. They’re illegal and can lead to significant penalties and interest, even criminal prosecution. 
Here’s more information about these scams that every taxpayer should know.

1. Identity Theft.  Tax fraud by identity theft tops this year’s Dirty Dozen list. Identity thieves use personal information, such as your name, Social Security number or other identifying information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. An identity thief may also use another person’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.

2. Phishing.  Scam artists use phishing to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal or financial information. Phishing scammers may pose as the IRS and send bogus emails, set up phony websites or make phone calls. These contacts usually offer a fictitious refund or threaten an audit or investigation to lure victims into revealing personal information. Phishers then use the information they obtain to steal the victim’s identity, access their bank accounts and credit cards or apply for loans. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Please forward suspicious scams to the IRS at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

2014 Tax Advisory

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