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    Tax Updates for 2016

    Filing Deadline

    The Internal Revenue Service will open the 2016 tax filing season on January 23, 2017. The deadline for filing federal individual income tax returns is April 18, 2017 due to April 15 falling on a Saturday and April 17th being Emancipation Day. falling on. The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file as it is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.

    • Trump and Taxes
    • The election of Donald Trump is sure to bring about many changes in the existing tax code. While this does not affect 2016 federal income tax returns, the changes we are likely to see for tax year 2017 and beyond include:
    • Changes in the tax brackets

      Mr. Trump proposes to cut the existing 7 different tax brackets to 3 with 12%, 25%, and 33% tax rates.

      Elimination of the Net Investment Income Tax and Alternative Minimum Tax

      The Net Investment Income Tax and Alternative Minimum Tax may be eliminated in the coming years if the new adminstration can convince congress to accept their tax plan.

      Elimination of the Personal Exemption

      The personal exemption, which is $4,050 per person for the 2016 tax year, may be eliminated for all taxpayers under the proposed tax plan.

      Increased Standard Deductions

      Mr. Trump proposes an increase in the standard deduction to $15,000 for single filers and $30,000 for those filing a joint return; a significant difference from the current standard deduction of $6,300 and $12,600 for each respective filing status. subsequent years,

      Cap on Itemized Deductions

      Under the proposed tax plan, itemized deductions will no longer be phased out based on adjusted gross income (AGI); rather, the deductions will be limited to $100,000 for single filers and $200,000 for those filing a joint return with no regard to AGI

      Child and Elderly Care Deduction

      The new tax plan proposes a Child and Dependent Care Deduction for the care expenses of children under the age of 13 and elderly dependents. The deduction is capped at the average cost of child care in the taxpayer’s state of residence; for elderly care, the deduction is capped at $5,000 per year. The deduction will be available in conjunction with the current Child and Dependent Care Credit. Child care spending rebates equal to 7.65% of child care expenses not already claimed for the proposed deduction or credit will be available to taxpayers with earnings that do not exceed $31,200 ($62,400 if filing jointly) for the tax year.

  • Healthcare and Your Income Tax Return

    U.S. citizens are required to have healthcare insurance unless they qualify for an exemption, and reporting healthcare coverage is now a part of completing yout income tax return!

    If you were covered under a qualifying plan offered by your employer for the entire year, simply checking a box on the income tax return is all that is required.

    If you enrolled in a plan through a health insurance marketplace, you may be eligible for a credit; or maybe you already received the credit in advance by have your premiums reduced throughout the year. In either case, Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, is the form to complete. You should receive Form 1095-A from the marketplace by early February. You will need this information to complete Form 8962.

    For those of you who did not have healthcare coverage the entire year but qualify for an exemption, completing Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, is a must.

    If you did not have coverage, or were only covered part of the year and do not qualify for an exemption, the 'shared responsibility payment' will be calculated and added as a tax on your return. The shared responsbility payment will either reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe. The shared responsibility payment increases for 2017, so do not forget to enroll for healthcare coverage by January 31, 2017, which is when the marketplaces close for open enrollment for the 2017 tax year.

    Healthcare Forms You May Receive in 2016
  • Form 1095-A
  • Taxpayers enrolled in a healthcare policy through a Healthcare Marketplace will receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement by the beginning of February, 2017.  Form 1095-A is required to claim/report the Premium Tax Credit (Form 8962).  This form is also available online through the taxpayer's Marketplace account.
  • Form 1095-B
  • Health insurance companies are required to send Form 1095-B to the policy holder and the IRS. Form 1095-B will detail the type of policy (employer-sponsored, government-sponsored, etc.) as well as who is covered under the policy and for how long. The IRS will use this information to verify that taxpayers have health insurance.
  • Form 1095-C
    Large employers (those with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees) are required to send Form 1095-C to taxpayers and the IRS. This form details the type of insurance the employer offered to employees. If the employer is self-insured, Form 1095-C will also provide information about the policy the employee has, if any. The IRS will use this information to verify that taxpayers have or were given the opportunity to have health insurance through their employer. This helps the IRS to ensure larger employers are offering coverage to employees and, in the case the employer is self-insured, to ensure that taxpayers actually have healthcare coverage.
  • Both Forms 1095-B and 1095-C are required to be sent to the taxpayer by 3/02/2017.