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Affordable Care Act

What the Health Care Law Means to You

Since the Affordable Care Act has been in place for over a year now, it’s important to understand what affects the health care law will have on you and your tax situation. Recently the IRS issued a Health Care Tax Tip (HCTT-2015-06) which details how the health care law can effect you. The actual text of the Tip is reproduced below:  

New For 2014 Taxes: Health Premium Tax Credit

We knew when Obamacare went into place that there would be new requirements for income tax filing, and one of the first to deal with is the health premium tax credit. This will require the use of a new form, Form 8962. Health Premium Tax Credit For this tax credit you will need to reconcile your advance credits that you have received in the form of reduced subsidized healthcare premiums.

Don’t Let the Premium Tax Credit Hang You Out to Dry

When you are using the Health Insurance Marketplace for your family’s health insurance, you may be receiving assistance with the premiums in the form of a premium tax credit.  This credit is paid to the health insurance provider, allowing your monthly premium to be lower. These premium credits are based upon your residence, income, family size, and eligibility for health insurance via other avenues, such as through a new employer.  If something has changed in your life, you may be receiving too much or too little in premium tax credits.  The IRS recently issued a Health Care Tax Tip designed to help you understand if you need to make a change to the premium credit you’re receiving to avoid unpleasant surprises at tax time. 

Obamacare and Your 2013 Tax Return

So – you’re considering your income tax return (or maybe you’ve already filed) and you’re wondering if there are things you need to know with regard to Obamacare.  Fortunately, it’s not much (for most folks), for your 2013 return anyhow.  Next year will be a different story. The IRS recently produced their Health Care Tax Tip HCTT-2014-10 which lists some tips about how the health care law impacts your 2013 tax return.  The actual text of the Tip is below: What do I need to know about the Health Care Law for my 2013 Tax Return? For most people, the Affordable Care Act has no effect on their 2013 federal income tax return.  For example, you will not report health care coverage under the individual shared responsibility provision or claim the premium tax credit until you file your 2014 return in 2015. However, for some people, a few provisions may […]

Get Your Kids to Help You With Your Taxes

Sometimes as parents we get overwhelmed with the costs of raising kids.  What with the high cost of soccer camp, video games, and lessons on the clarinet, it can be woefully expensive raising kids. Sometimes though, there are surprising ways that kids can help out with costs – and your income taxes is one of those places where having kids does help.  The IRS recently published their Tax Tip 2014-11 which lists eight ways that having children can help to lower your taxes. The actual text of Tax Tip 2014-11 follows: Eight Tax Savers for Parents Your children may help you qualify for valuable tax benefits.  Here are eight tax benefits parents should look out for when filing their federal tax returns this year. Dependents. In most cases, you can claim your child as a dependent.  This applies even if your child was born any time in 2013.  for more […]

Net Unrealized Appreciation is not subject to the 3.8% surtax

When you take advantage of the Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) treatment for stocks transferred from your employer retirement plan, you need to fully understand the tax treatment both when you transfer the stocks and when you eventually sell the stock. Stock that you’ve chosen to treat with NUA tax treatment has three potential tax components – The basis of the stock – this is the original purchase cost of the stock, which is subject to ordinary income tax the year when you transfer the stock from the employer’s plan into your brokerage account. The Net Unrealized Appreciation – this is the difference in the total value of the stock minus the basis (from #1 above) on the date that you transfer it from your employer’s plan. This amount is not taxable until you sell the stock, and then it is taxed at long-term capital gains rates, no matter how long […]

Penalty for Having No Health Insurance

Note: this provision has been repealed beginning with tax year 2019. As you may already be aware, individuals are required to carry health insurance on themselves and their dependents, as of January 1, 2014.  This is the mandate set forth in the Affordable Care Act – and of course it’s an important part of making the whole Act work.  Small businesses (less than 50 employees) have a similar mandate to provide coverage for employees beginning in 2015, or face penalties themselves. Without mandating insurance coverage for everyone, the system can’t sustain the lower-cost options for folks who desperately need the medical coverage. This includes folks who are not covered by any other means (employer, Medicare, Medicaid or individually-purchased policies) and who have medical problems that require costly care.  With the mandate, healthier individuals will also have to pony up and purchase health insurance, so that the overall cost is spread […]

How the 3.8% Surtax Could Influence Roth Conversions

Note: This is a dust-off of an article written in April 2010 that dealt with the special two-year taxation of Roth Conversions that was available in that year.  An astute reader noted that the original was a bit dusty and not applicable to today’s decision-making (thanks S!). One of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act is a new tax – a surtax on investment income over certain amounts.  This surtax has come into play this year, for tax returns filed in 2014 on 2013 income.  The income amounts are, admittedly, rather high, but nonetheless will likely impact a lot of folks.  What you may not realize is that, due to the application of this surtax, Roth IRA conversion strategies that you may have had in play may be impacted.  Depending upon your overall income, you may have to pay the surtax on some or all of your conversion amount. […]

Selling Your Home? Be Aware of These Half-Truths

Since selling a home is one of those events that many folks only do a few times in their lives, there is much uncertainty about what kinds of potential rules and laws may trip you up.  Recent data suggests that the average American will buy and sell their primary home something like 10 times in their lifetimes – for many that number will be far less.  There is a lot of information about the tax impacts of selling a home out there flying about on the internet, and some of it is mostly bunk.  And much of what’s not bunk is limited in applicability. Below are a few half-truths about home sales that you want to understand before you sell your home, along with the explanation of the facts behind them, including how they may apply to your situation if at all. 1. If I sell my house I need […]

Unintended Result From Obamacare?

One of the primary tenets of the Affordable Care Act legislation (Obamacare) is guaranteed healthcare insurance for all Americans.  This insurance is expected to have lower premium rates than individually-purchased healthcare insurance policies – although the jury is still out on exactly what those rates will be.  When the Health Insurance Marketplaces begin operation next month we’ll learn more about how this new health insurance delivery will be priced, compared with employer-provided health insurance or individually-purchased policies. If the rates are dramatically lower than the individually-purchased policy, an unintended result may occur: early retirement for many. (For more on this phenomenon, see “Obamacare could encourage more early retirements from baby boomers”.) Think about it – everyone knows at least one successful self-employed individual, and probably several, whose spouse works in a position with a large local employer (around here it’s likely the state, or a hospital or insurance company) – solely […]

Who Will Be The Biggest Benefactors of Obamacare?

According to data cited in a recent WSJ article (The Health-Care Overhaul: What You Need to Know), there is a specific demographic that should benefit the most from the up-coming institution of the Affordable Care Act’s changes to the healthcare system.  If you’re wondering why this writing seems a bit smug, it’s because I’m one of these projected benefactors: folks between age 50 and 64. Why is this group deemed the most likely to benefit? It has to do with some current realities about our nation’s health and the way that the (current and proposed) health insurance marketplace works.  First of all, folks in this age group who are not covered by an employer plan, or are not covered by Medicaid, must find insurance in the private marketplace. And the reality is that folks who’ve seen half a century of life or more are typically in poorer health than younger […]