If you get your health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit.
Here are some basic facts about the premium tax credit.
What is the premium tax credit?
The premium tax credit is a credit designed to help eligible individuals and families with low or moderate income afford health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The Health Insurance Marketplace is the place where you will find information about private health insurance options, purchase health insurance, and obtain help with premiums and out-of-pocket costs if you are eligible. Learn more about the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov.
How do I get the premium tax credit?
When you apply for coverage in the Marketplace, the Marketplace will estimate the amount of the premium tax credit that you may be able to claim for the tax year, using information you provide about your family composition and projected household income. Based upon that estimate, you can decide if you want to have all, some, or none of your estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to be applied to your monthly premiums. If you choose to have all or some of your credit paid in advance, you will be required to reconcile on your income tax return the amount of advance payments that the government sent on your behalf with the premium tax credit that you may claim based on your actual household income and family size.
What happens if my income or family size changes during the year?
The actual premium tax credit for the year will differ from the advance credit amount estimated by the Marketplace if your family size and household income as estimated at the time of enrollment are different from the family size and household income you report on your return. The more your family size or household income differs from the Marketplace estimates used to compute your advance credit payments, the more significant the difference will be between your advance credit payments and your actual credit.
If you receive advance payment of the premium tax credit in 2014 it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace.
Most people already have insurance and they won’t have to do anything new. If you are looking for health insurance, you may be able to get it through the Health Insurance Marketplace and you may qualify for the premium tax credit. You can “get it now” as an advance payment or you can “get it later” when you file your tax return.
Advance payments of the premium tax credit provide financial assistance to help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Health Insurance 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.
If you decide to get the credit in advance, it’s important to report any changes in your income or family size to the Marketplace throughout the year. Reporting these changes will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.
The government makes advance payments of the credit based on an estimate of the credit that you will claim on your tax return when you file in 2015. If you report changes in your income or family size to the Marketplace when they happen in 2014, the advance payments will more closely match the credit amount on your 2014 federal tax return. This will help you avoid getting a smaller refund than you expected or even owing money that you did not expect to owe.
If you have a child under age 17, the Child Tax Credit may save you money at tax time. Here are some key facts the IRS wants you to know about the credit.
• Amount. The non-refundable Child Tax Credit may help cut your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child you claim on your tax return.
• Qualifications. A child must pass seven tests to qualify for this credit:
1. Age test. The child was under age 17 at the end of 2013.
2. Relationship test. The child is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister. A child can also be a descendant of any of these persons. For example, your grandchild, niece or nephew will meet this test. Adopted children also qualify. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
3. Support test. The child did not provide more than half of his or her own support for 2013.
4. Dependent test. You claim the child as a dependent on your 2013 federal income tax return.
5. Joint return test. A married child can’t file a joint return with their spouse they are filing jointly only to claim a tax refund.
6. Citizenship test. The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or U.S. resident alien. For more see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
7. Residence test. In most cases, the child must have lived with you for more than half of 2013.
• Limitations. Your filing status and income may reduce or eliminate the credit.
• Additional Child Tax Credit. If you get less than the full Child Tax Credit, you may qualify for the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit. This means you could get a refund even if you owe no tax.
• Schedule 8812. If you qualify to claim the Child Tax Credit, make sure to check whether you must file Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, with your return. If you qualify to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, you must complete and attach Schedule 8812.
• Interactive Tax Assistant Tool. You can use the ITA tool at IRS.gov to see if you can claim the credit. The tool can answer many of your tax questions.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today annual inflation adjustments for tax year 2013, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes from the recently passed American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
The tax items for 2013 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following changes.
Plan Now to Get Full Benefit of Saver’s Credit; Tax Credit Helps Low- and Moderate-Income Workers Save for Retirement
WASHINGTON — Low- and moderate-income workers can take steps now to save for retirement and earn a special tax credit in 2012 and the years ahead, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
The saver’s credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 workers voluntarily contribute to IRAs and to 401(k) plans and similar workplace retirement programs. Also known as the retirement savings contributions credit, the saver’s credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply.
Eligible workers still have time to make qualifying retirement contributions and get the saver’s credit on their 2012 tax return. People have until April 15, 2013, to set up a new individual retirement arrangement or add money to an existing IRA and still get credit for 2012. However, elective deferrals (contributions) must be made by the end of the year to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace program, such as a 403(b) plan for employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations, a governmental 457 plan for state or local government employees, and the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees. Employees who are unable to set aside money for this year may want to schedule their 2013 contributions soon so their employer can begin withholding them in January.
The saver’s credit can be claimed by:
A taxpayer’s credit amount is based on his or her filing status, adjusted gross income, tax liability and amount contributed to qualifying retirement programs. Form 8880 is used to claim the saver’s credit, and its instructions have details on figuring the credit correctly.
In tax-year 2010, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, saver’s credits totaling just over $1 billion were claimed on more than 6.1 million individual income tax returns. Saver’s credits claimed on these returns averaged $204 for joint filers, $165 for heads of household and $122 for single filers.
The saver’s credit supplements other tax benefits available to people who set money aside for retirement. For example, most workers may deduct their contributions to a traditional IRA. Though Roth IRA contributions are not deductible, qualifying withdrawals, usually after retirement, are tax-free. Normally, contributions to 401(k) and similar workplace plans are not taxed until withdrawn.
Other special rules that apply to the saver’s credit include the following:
Begun in 2002 as a temporary provision, the saver’s credit was made a permanent part of the tax code in legislation enacted in 2006. To help preserve the value of the credit, income limits are now adjusted annually to keep pace with inflation. More information about the credit is on IRS.gov.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2013 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, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
These and other requirements for a taxpayer to use a standard mileage rate to calculate the amount of a deductible business, moving, medical, or charitable expense are in Rev. Proc. 2010-51. Notice 2012-72 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.
If you are able to itemize your deductions on your tax return instead of claiming the standard deduction, you may be able to claim certain miscellaneous deductions. A tax deduction reduces the amount of your taxable income and generally reduces the amount of taxes you may have to pay. [MORE] . . .