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Nov 17 2015 10:18PM by Patsy Marsh

Review Your Health Coverage Exemption Options

The individual shared responsibility provision requires you, your spouse, and your dependents to have qualifying health insurance for the entire year, report a health coverage exemption, or make a shared responsibility payment when you file. If you are applying for an exemption from the Marketplace, you should prepare early by reviewing your options and determining if you are eligible for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage.
How you get a health coverage exemption depends on the type of exemption. The IRS has posted a chart listing the types of exemptions and how to obtain them on IRS.gov/aca. You can obtain some exemptions only from the Marketplace while others you may claim when you file your tax return. You can get some exemptions by either applying for the exemption from the Marketplace or claiming it on your return.
Marketplace Exemptions
If you are eligible for an exemption from the Marketplace, you apply for it by filling out an exemption application that you then send to the Marketplace. If the Marketplace grants your coverage exemption, they will send you a notice with your unique Exemption Certificate Number. Keep this notice with your other important tax information. You will use the ECN when you file your tax return. Be sure to apply early so that you will receive this notice before you file your tax return. Hardship exemptions are among those exemptions that you must request through the Marketplace. To qualify for a hardship exemption you must have experienced circumstances that prevented you from obtaining coverage under a qualified health plan. Those circumstances include homelessness, eviction, foreclosure, domestic violence, death of a close family member and unpaid medical bills.
For more information about obtaining exemption from the Marketplace, go to HealthCare.gov.
IRS Exemptions
For a health coverage exemption that you qualify to claim on your tax return, you do not need to call or obtain the exemption from the IRS in advance. All you need to do is complete Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions Part III and file it with your tax return. Use a separate line for each individual and exemption type claimed on the return.
If you do not have coverage and your income is below the filing requirement threshold for your filing status, you and your family are exempt and you will not have to make a shared responsibility payment. In this situation, you do not have to file a return to claim the coverage exemption. However, if you choose to file a return, then you will use Part II of Form 8965, Coverage Exemptions for Your Household Claimed on Your Return. Exemptions that you can claim on your tax return include exemptions for lack of affordable coverage, a short coverage gap, non-citizens not lawfully present in the United States, and certain citizens living abroad.
Find out if you qualify for an exemption by using our interactive tool, Am I required to make an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment. For information about claiming and reporting exemptions, visit IRS.gov/aca.

Dec 18 2015 01:38AM by Patsy Marsh

2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 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, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015
19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business mileage rate decreased 3.5 cents per mile and the medical, and moving expense rates decrease 4 cents per mile from the 2015 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.

Jan 1 2016 02:38PM by Patsy Marsh

2016 Tax Season Opens Jan. 19 for Nation’s Taxpayers
WASHINGTON ― Following a review of the tax extenders legislation signed into law last week, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that the nation’s tax season will begin as scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.
The IRS will begin accepting individual electronic returns that day. The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016, with more than four out of five being prepared using tax return preparation software and e-filed. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for e-file to begin.
“We look forward to opening the 2016 tax season on time,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “Our employees have been working hard throughout this year to make this happen. We also appreciate the help from the nation’s tax professionals and the software community, who are critical to helping taxpayers during the filing season.”
As part of the Security Summit initiative, the IRS has been working closely with the tax industry and state revenue departments to provide stronger protections against identity theft for taxpayers during the coming filing season.
The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the traditional April 15 date. Washington, D.C., will celebrate Emancipation Day on that Friday, which pushes the deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation. (Due to Patriots Day, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 19, in Maine and Massachusetts.)
Koskinen noted the new legislation makes permanent many provisions and extends many others for several years. "This provides certainty for planning purposes, which will help taxpayers and the tax community as well as the IRS," he said.
The IRS urges all taxpayers to make sure they have all their year-end statements in hand before filing, including Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, and Form 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the premium tax credit.
“We encourage taxpayers to take full advantage of the expanding array of tools and information on IRS.gov to make their tax preparation easier,” Koskinen said.
Although the IRS begins accepting returns on Jan. 19, many tax software companies will begin accepting tax returns earlier in January and submitting them to the IRS when processing systems open.
Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

Feb 4 2016 04:13PM by Patsy

WASHINGTON
The IRS stopped accepting electronically filed tax returns Wednesday because of problems with some of its computer systems. The outage could affect refunds, but the agency said it doesn’t anticipate “major disruptions.”

A “hardware failure” forced the shutdown of several tax processing systems, including the e-file system, the IRS said in a statement. The IRS.gov website remains available, but “where’s my refund” and other services are not working.

Some systems will be out of service at least until Thursday, the agency said. “The IRS is currently in the process of making repairs and working to restore normal operations as soon as possible,” the IRS said.

Taxpayers can continue to send electronic returns to companies that serve as middlemen between taxpayers and the IRS. But those companies have to hold on to the tax returns until the IRS systems are up and running again, the IRS said.

While the IRS said it is still assessing the scope of the outage, it expects 90 percent of taxpayers will receive refunds within three weeks.

People who have already filed returns don’t need to do anything more, the IRS said.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/nation-world/national/article58311393.html#storylink=cpy

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