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If you have enrolled for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and receive advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2015, it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Marketplace.
Advance payments of the premium tax credit (PTC) provide financial assistance to help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Marketplace. Having at least some of your credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company will reduce the out-of-pocket cost of the health insurance premiums you’ll pay each month.
However, it is important to notify the Marketplace about changes in circumstances to allow the Marketplace to adjust your advance payment amount. This adjustment will decrease the likelihood of a significant difference between your advance credit payments and your actual premium tax credit. Changes in circumstances that you should report to the Marketplace include, but are not limited to:
- An increase or decrease in your income
- Marriage or divorce
- The birth or adoption of a child
- Starting a job with health insurance
- Gaining or losing your eligibility for other health care coverage
- Changing your residence
For the full list of changes you should report, visit HealthCare.gov/how-do-i-report-life-changes-to-the-marketplace.
What to Know about Late Filing and Late Paying Penalties
April 15 was the tax day deadline for most people. If you are due a refund there is no penalty if you file a late tax return. But if you owe tax, and you failed to file and pay on time, you will usually owe interest and penalties on the tax you pay late. You should file your tax return and pay the tax as soon as possible to stop them. Here are eight facts that you should know about these penalties.
1. Two penalties may apply. If you file your federal tax return late and owe tax with the return, two penalties may apply. The first is a failure-to-file penalty for late filing. The second is a failure-to-pay penalty for paying late.
2. Penalty for late filing. The failure-to-file penalty is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. It will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
3. Minimum late filing penalty. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty for late filing is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.
4. Penalty for late payment. The failure-to-pay penalty is generally 0.5 percent per month of your unpaid taxes. It applies for each month or part of a month your taxes remain unpaid and starts accruing the day after taxes are due. It can build up to as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
5. Combined penalty per month. If the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty both apply in any month, the maximum amount charged for those two penalties that month is 5 percent.
6. File even if you can’t pay. In most cases, the failure-to-file penalty is 10 times more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So if you can’t pay in full, you should file your tax return and pay as much as you can. Use IRS Direct Pay to pay your tax directly from your checking or savings account. You should try other options to pay, such as getting a loan or paying by debit or credit card. The IRS will work with you to help you resolve your tax debt. Most people can set up an installment agreement with the IRS using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov.
7. Late payment penalty may not apply. If you requested an extension of time to file your income tax return by the tax due date and paid at least 90 percent of the taxes you owe, you may not face a failure-to-pay penalty. However, you must pay the remaining balance by the extended due date. You will owe interest on any taxes you pay after the April 15 due date.
8. No penalty if reasonable cause. You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show reasonable cause for not filing or paying on time. There is also penalty relief available for repayment of excess advance payments of the premium tax credit for 2014.
Use this link to find out what to do when your tax preparer won’t help or gives you an 800 # to call…
Save on Your Taxes and for Retirement with the Saver’s Credit
If you contribute to a retirement plan, like a 401(k) or an IRA, you may be able to claim the Saver’s Credit. This credit can help you save for retirement and reduce the tax you owe. Here are some key facts that you should know about this important tax credit:
• Formal Name. The formal name of the Saver’s Credit is the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit. The Saver’s Credit is in addition to other tax savings you get if you set aside money for retirement. For example, you may be able to deduct your contributions to a traditional IRA.
• Maximum Credit. The Saver’s Credit is worth up to $2,000 if you are married and file a joint return. The credit is worth up to $1,000 if you are single. The credit you receive is often much less than the maximum. This is due in part because of the deductions and other credits you may claim.
• Income Limits. You may be able to claim the credit depending on your filing status and the amount of your yearly income. You may be eligible for the credit on your 2014 tax return if you are:
o Married filing jointly with income up to $60,000
o Head of household with income up to $45,000
o Married filing separately or a single taxpayer with income up to $30,000
• Other Rules. Other rules that apply to the credit include:
o You must be at least 18 years of age.
o You can’t have been a full-time student in 2014.
o No other person can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.
• Contribution Date. You must have contributed to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace plan by the end of the year to claim this credit. However, you can contribute to an IRA by the due date of your tax return and still have it count for 2014. The due date for most people is April 15, 2015.
Call (803)470-4938 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ask us which form to file with your income tax return.
C Fitts Tax Solutions | 141 S. Shandon St. Ste. E | Columbia, SC 29205 | http://www.cfittstaxsolutions.com.
File on Time Even if You Can’t Pay
Do you owe more tax than you can afford to pay when you file? If so, don’t fail to take action. Make sure to file on time. That way you won’t have a penalty for filing late. Here is what to do if you can’t pay all your taxes by the due date.
- File on time and pay as much as you can. You should file on time to avoid a late filing penalty. Pay as much as you can with your tax return. The more you can pay on time, the less interest and late payment penalty charges you will owe.
- Pay online with IRS Direct Pay. IRS Direct Pay is the latest electronic payment option available from the IRS. It allows you to schedule payments online from your checking or savings account with no additional fee and with an immediate payment confirmation. It’s, secure, easy, and much quicker than mailing in a check or money order. To make a payment or to find out about your other options to pay, visit IRS.gov/payments.
- Pay the rest of your tax as soon as you can. If it is possible, get a loan or use a credit card to pay the balance. The interest and fees charged by a bank or credit card company may be less than the interest and penalties charged for late payment of tax. For debit or credit card options, visit IRS.gov.
- Use the Online Payment Agreement tool. You don’t need to wait for IRS to send you a bill to ask for an installment agreement. The best way is to use the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov. You can even set up a direct debit installment agreement. When you pay with a direct debit plan, you won’t have to write a check and mail it on time each month. And you won’t miss any payments that could mean more penalties. If you can’t use the IRS.gov tool, you can file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request instead. You can view, download and print the form onIRS.gov/forms anytime.
- Don’t ignore a tax bill. If you get a bill, don’t ignore it. The IRS may take collection action if you ignore the bill. Contact the IRS right away to talk about your options. If you face a financial hardship, the IRS will work with you.
In short, remember to file on time. Pay as much as you can by the tax deadline. Pay the rest as soon as you can.
Contact C Fitts Tax Solutions at (803)470-4938 to find out more.
141 S. Shandon St. Ste. E | Columbia, SC 29205 | email@example.com
“This is no April Fool’s joke. Everyone should be on the lookout for threatening calls from people faking IRS phone numbers and demands for immediate payment,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “These are scams. I urge taxpayers to stay vigilant and remain aware of the constantly changing tactics used by these criminals.”
They often leave “urgent” callback requests and sometimes prey on the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, newly arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. Scammers have been known to impersonate agents from IRS Criminal Investigation as well.
Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do.
The IRS will not:
Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
IRS Issue Number: IR-2015-62
- Contact us at (803)470-4938 with questions or concerns.
- C Fitts Tax Solutions | 141 S. Shandon St. Ste. E | Columbia, SC 29205 | Corner of Rosewood Dr.
The Treasury Offset Program, which is run by Bureau of the Fiscal Services (BFS), can use all or part of your federal refund to settle certain unpaid federal or state debts.
Offsets to Pay Certain Debts. Past due federal tax debt may reduce your tax refund. The BFS may also use part or all of your tax refund to pay certain other debts such as:
- Past-due child and parent support.
- Federal agency non-tax debts, such as a delinquent student loan.
- State income tax obligations.
- Certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state.
Notified by Mail. The BFS will mail you a notice if it offsets any part of your refund to pay your debt. The notice will list the original refund and offset amount. It will also include the agency that received the offset payment. It will also give their contact information.
How to Dispute Offset. If you wish to dispute the offset, you should contact the agency that received the offset payment. Do not contact the IRS.
Injured Spouse Allocation. You may be entitled to part or all of the offset if you filed a joint tax return with your spouse. This rule applies if your spouse is solely responsible for the debt. To get your part of the refund, file Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. You can view, download or print tax forms on IRS.gov/forms at any time.
Contact us should you need help or have questions.
C Fitts Tax Solutions | 141 S. Shandon St. Ste. E | Columbia, SC 29205 | (803)470-4938 | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Many Retirees Face April 1 Deadline to Take Required Retirement Plan Distributions”
The IRS released a reminder to taxpayers who turned 70½ during 2014 that in most cases they must start receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans by Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
The April 1 deadline applies to owners of traditional IRAs but not Roth IRAs. Normally, it also applies to participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans.
The April 1 deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all subsequent years, the RMD must be made by Dec. 31. So, a taxpayer who turned 70½ in 2014 and receives the first required payment on April 1, 2015, for example, must still receive the second RMD by Dec. 31, 2015.
Though the April 1 deadline is mandatory for all owners of traditional IRAs and most participants in workplace retirement plans, some people with workplace plans can wait longer to receive their RMD. Usually, employees who are still working can, if their plan allows, wait until April 1 of the year after they retire to start receiving these distributions. Employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) plan accruals before 1987 should check with their employer, plan administrator or provider to see how to treat these accruals.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to begin planning now for any distributions required during 2015. An IRA trustee must either report the amount of the RMD to the IRA owner or offer to calculate it for the owner. Often, the trustee shows the RMD amount in Box 12b on Form 5498. For a 2015 RMD, this amount would be on the 2014 Form 5498 that is normally issued in January 2015.