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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You Can Still E-file With ACAwise



While House Republicans celebrated a victory when they passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a couple of weeks ago, the bill still has an uphill battle to pass in the Senate. Which means…

Ding ding ding! That’s right: the ACA is still very much in effect.

And while the deadline to have your ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 e-filed with the IRS to report your 2016 tax year was at the end of March

Ding ding ding! Right again: you can still e-file your 2016 ACA Forms with ACAwise!

Of course, we can’t guarantee that the IRS won’t impose any late filing penalties because you are filing late. However, the faster you get your return completed and filed, the less harsh these penalties will be. One thing’s for sure: if you don’t file your 2016 return and the ACA sticks around, you could be setting yourself up to receive a very unpleasant letter from the IRS (if you haven’t already).

At ACAwise, we’ll help make it easy to complete and file your ACA return. All you need to do is send us your employer, employee, and health care offer(s) information in whatever format you’ve already got. We’ll fix up your 1094 and 1095 Forms then, once you’ve reviewed them, securely transmit them to the IRS. We’ll even send you an email once the IRS has processed your return.

So if you haven’t e-filed yet, don’t wait around any longer. Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll help get you started with an ACAwise account so you can transmit your 2016 ACA return!

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Trumpcare vs. Obamacare


Boy, Washington’s been quite a-flutter lately, hasn’t it? Just last week, the House of Representatives voted 217 to 213 to pass the GOP health care bill meant to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The GOP’s legislature has been called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and has been called out by various media, medical, and advocacy groups for the potentially detrimental changes should it succeed in repealing the ACA. The American Medical Association even had this to say about the new law:

The bill passed by the House [today] will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question.

The House GOP, however, maintains that the proposal would allow individuals and states more options when it comes to health insurance which should, in turn, make coverage more affordable overall.

So what are the main differences between the current legislature (the Affordable Care Act aka the ACA aka Obamacare) and the bill that still needs to pass through an increasingly reluctant Senate (the American Health Care Act aka the AHCA aka Trumpcare)? Well, sit back, because we’re here to tell ya!

Coverage
The ACA
The Affordable Care Act introduced legislation that made it illegal for insurers to charge those with preexisting conditions more for coverage; it also made it illegal for insurers to charge older consumers more than three times what they charge younger consumers. It also barred insurers from imposing annual or lifetime limits on coverage. Under the ACA, individuals were also required to enroll in health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty.

The AHCA
Under the GOP’s new option, how coverage for those with preexisting conditions is handled would be left up to the states. Guaranteed coverage is not explicitly eliminated, but states can seek waivers from several consumer protections. States would also be allowed to scale back benefits insurers must cover; with how the law is structured, insurers could reimpose annual and lifetime limits on certain coverage. Insurers in states that allowed it would also be able to charge sick consumers more as well as charge older consumers as much as five times more than younger consumers. The AHCA does drop the tax penalty imposed for not having health insurance, but anyone who goes without insurance for more than two months would incur a 30% premium surcharge when they tried to purchase a new plan.

Number of Uninsured
The ACA
Thanks in part to the tax penalty imposed by the ACA - and also in part to the tax subsidies it offered - the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced an unprecedented 20 million people became newly insured as a result of the ACA. Currently, the estimated amount of uninsured people in America is approximately 28 million.

The AHCA
While the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is still completing its independent analysis of the AHCA, it’s unclear how the revised bill would change the original estimate of growth in uninsured citizens with the new legislation. The CBO initially predicted, based on the original version of the GOP health care plan, about 24 million more Americans would lose coverage by 2026, mostly affecting low-income Americans and those nearing retirement. Of course, we’re still waiting on the nonpartisan CBO’s latest analysis to determine if this has changed any with the newest updates.

Insurance Subsidies
The ACA
Under the ACA, insurance subsidies worked a little like this:
  • -Those using the healthcare marketplace who make less than $48,000 a year receive subsidies to help buy insurance.
  • -The amount of that subsidy is directly related to the person’s income and the cost of insurance where they live.
  • -The subsidy is automatically applied to the consumer’s monthly insurance bill rather than having the consumer wait for a rebate.
The AHCA
Under the AHCA, insurance subsidies will work a little like this:
  • -People are still eligible for subsidies, however, they will phase out at incomes of $75,000/year.
  • -The amount of the subsidy is directly related to the person’s age but will not vary based on the cost of coverage in the area. The newest tax credit proposal is as follows:
    • -Age 20-29: $2,000
    • -Age 30-39: $2,500
    • -Age 40-49: $3,000
    • -Age 50-59: $3,500
    • -Age 60+: $4,000
In General
As far as subsidies go, it will all depend on your income, age, and location as to whether the ACA or AHCA is a better deal for you. As the Kaiser Family Foundation study pointed out, for instance, an older, lower-income American living in an area with higher premiums (like Alaska or Arizona) will likely lose out if the ACA is replaced. However, a younger, higher-income American in an area with lower premiums (like Massachusetts or Washington) may receive assistance under the AHCA.

Medicaid
The ACA
One of the components of the ACA helped to expand Medicaid to cover more Americans. Under the ACA, the federal government allots money to states depending on how much medical care the state’s Medicaid patients receive. This ended up with the federal government covering almost the entire cost of expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults without children in the 30 states and D.C. that elected to expand their programs.

The AHCA
The AHCA proposes a fixed “per capita cap” or “block grant” to replace the current Medicaid system, which is decades old. Under this new system, each state would receive a fixed amount of money each year that increases annually by a percentage linked to the inflation rate. Any additional federal funding that was allotted for coverage Medicaid expansion would be eliminated by 2020.

Tax Changes
The ACA
Through the ACA, taxes were set up to pay for subsidizing insurance to ensure more covered individuals. With these tax requirements, insurance companies and medical device makers, as well as taxpayers with incomes over $250,000, were taxed more to cover the subsidies provided under Obamacare.

The AHCA
The AHCA eliminates most of these taxes, arguably making this proposal much more beneficial for medical device makers, insurance companies, and wealthy Americans. While these tax cuts total about $600 billion over the next decade, the GOP proposal does not include any new tax to offset this loss of revenue.




As the Senate debates and prepares for the vote on the GOP’s new health care proposal, we’ll be here making sure you have all the information (and e-filing product) you need to be prepared for any upcoming ACA or AHCA reporting! So be sure to stay tuned with ACAwise for the health care reporting information you need when you need it!
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Tax-Exempt Organizations Have an IRS Deadline Soon


Nonprofits have a very special place in our society. They help fill in the moral and ethical spaces society can create to make the world a better place for all. That’s why when an idea is brought to the nonprofit sector and grows into a tax-exempt charity, foundation, etc., the IRS has measures in place to cover their taxes while they contribute time, supplies, and manpower to the world’s woes.

Of course, not every nonprofit qualifies for tax-exempt status, which is why tax-exempt organizations must report information to the IRS each year. The information reported is an in-depth look at the nonprofit’s finances to ensure the right amount of money coming into the organization is allocated for its operational purpose(s). If too much is going to for-profit endeavors, board member salaries, or anything else that it impedes the charitable purpose, the IRS will perform an audit to determine if tax-exempt status is still applicable to the organization.

Tax-exempt organizations report all this information on one of the 990 Series Forms. The traditional long form, also known as Form 990, is typically filed by organizations with at least $200,000 in gross receipts and/or total assets of at least $500,000 in value. This is the most in-depth tax-exempt information return but is not the most widely-used.

The vast majority of tax-exempt organizations fall into either the Form 990-EZ (gross receipts less than $200,000 but more than $50,000) or the Form 990-N (gross receipts less than $50,000) category. Form 990-N is an online-only form also known as the e-Postcard, and Form 990-EZ can either be paper filed or filed electronically. Regardless of gross receipts, if a tax-exempt organization qualifies as a private foundation, it must file Form 990-PF to report financial data.

No matter what 990 Form an organization files, it must file it with the IRS by the 15th day of the fifth month after its tax year ends. Since most organizations operate on a calendar year tax year, which runs from January 1 to December 31, the unofficial “Official Tax-Exempt IRS Deadline” is May 15. And you may have noticed that due date is coming up! But don’t worry too much if you’re not ready: for all 990 Forms except the 990-N, extension Form 8868 can be filed to extend the tax-exempt deadline (whatever your deadline) for six months.

We’re bringing all of this up over here at ACAwise because we know that nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations aren’t run by elves or oompa loompas. They’re run by every-day people, volunteers who are ambitious enough to take on a little world-wide home improvement when they’re not at work.

So if you are (or someone you know is) active in a tax-exempt organization, here’s help out a little further: see if they have a plan for filing a 990 Form this year. If not (or even if they do), check out ExpressTaxExempt! They’re one of our sister products and have everything you need to complete Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, 990-PF, or even Form 8868 quickly and easily!

If you have any questions, check out their site or give us a call and we’ll connect you with an ExpressTaxExempt team member who’ll be happy to help! You can also contact them directly by phone (704-839-2321) and live chat Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST, or by email 24/7 at support@ExpressTaxExempt.com!


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Monday, April 24, 2017

First Quarter 941 Forms Are Due Soon!

https://www.expresstaxfilings.com/form-941/


When you own a business, the work never stops. The buck starts and stops with you, and you’re the one responsible for making sure every i is dotted and every t crossed. You’re also the one who’s responsible for filing your business’s quarterly tax return with the IRS (or, at least, responsible for delegating that task to someone).

And, wouldn’t you know it, with the ending of 2017’s first fiscal quarter in March, we’re coming up on the deadline to file your First Quarter 941 Form! This year, it’s May 1, 2017, since April 30 falls on a Sunday. That means you have just over a week left to get that paperwork filed!

But what if you decided not to file paperwork?

As we pointed out a couple of weeks ago, it’s possible to e-file your quarterly tax forms with the IRS, which would save you time and save the Earth a few trees. So that’s something to think about after Earth Day weekend.

Now, with your 1099s, you’ve got a different deadline for e-filing than for paper filing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the 941 Forms. Since these forms report quarterly information and those quarters - like time - keep marching on there isn’t much space in the calendar to have a paper filing and e-filing deadline for the 941 Forms.

Still, there are other benefits to e-filing Form 941 that paper filing just can’t offer. For one thing, e-filing is exponentially faster than paper filing. For another example, most programs that are IRS-authorized to file Form 941 also offer the option to pay your taxes for the quarter right there through an electronic funds transfer (EFT) or send a check later. And when you e-file with someone like our sister product, ExpressTaxFilings, your 941 Form will be sent through a series of error checks before you transmit to ensure everything was filled out correctly.

Time’s running out to get those 941 Forms filed for the first quarter of 2017 so if you haven’t decided how you’re going to be filing, might we suggest ExpressTaxFilings? Like ACAwise, it’s a faster, easier alternative to traditional IRS e-filing and, also like ACAwise, has some of the best online security in the business. If you’d like more information on getting started, give us a call and we’ll get you in touch with an ExpressTaxFilings team member right away. You can also call them directly at (704) 684-4751.

Happy (e-)filing!

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Don't Forget: The ACA Extension Deadline is Coming Up!


Hey there, ACA filers! If you used Form 8809 way back before March 31 this year to extend the deadline to file your Affordable Care Act Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS, here’s your friendly reminder that your new and extended deadline is coming up soon!

There’s no doubt that March was a busy month, which means you would’ve had to rush through your return to get it done, and that’s why the IRS came up with deadline extension forms: to help make sure you can get your forms completed and filed correctly. So the original deadline was March 31, 2017, for your tax year 2016 ACA Forms and you applied for a 30-day extension with Form 8809, which means your new deadline is coming up in less than two weeks on April 30, 2017.

But wait, you may be saying, the 30th is on a Sunday and right you are! So technically your real deadline is May 1, 2017, since the IRS will be closed on your official new deadline.

Now, some of you may have taken Form 8809 one step further and applied for a non-automatic, additional 30 days to file with a second paper 8809 Form. If that’s the case, your deadline’s still coming up, but not as quickly - May 31st rather than April 30th.

And if you still need somewhere to file, you can do so quickly and easily right here with ACAwise! Just upload your ACA data as you already have it and our program does the rest. Review your forms once they’re done then securely transmit them to the IRS. Simple as that.

If you have any questions about the extended deadline or getting started with ACAwise, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re available Monday through Friday by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat and offer 24/7 assistance via email at support@ACAwise.com.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Not Ready for Tax Day? We Can Help!



Okay, guys, we already got a little bit of an extension with Tax Day, what with the 15th falling on a Saturday and today being Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington, D.C.

However, just because you got a little more time that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready ready to file your personal tax return. Hey, we get it: tax forms can be a hassle and it’s incredibly normal to want to put off dealing with hassles for as long as we’re able. In fact, the IRS understands this tendency in human nature, which is why extension applications are available for most return forms.

For the 1040 Series, which includes Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, and 1040-PS and is used to report personal income tax information, that extension application is Form 4868.

BUT! If you want to get an extension with Form 4868, you’ll need to act fast! It’s due on Tax Day too, which is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in case you needed a reminder. Luckily, unlike your tax return, Form 4868 is super quick and easy to complete and when you e-file it, you’ll likely get an approval from the IRS within 15 minutes.

We can agree taking maybe 20 minutes to get 6 more months to file your personal tax return is not much of a hassle at all. And we could argue that ExpressExtension is the best place to complete and e-file Form 4868 online! We may have revealed our bias last week when we introduced our sister product, but it really does have it all: a simplified, interview-style form completion process, built-in error checks, tax liability payment options, and best of all - that quick return on your 4868’s IRS acceptance confirmation.

Now, it’s important to remember that Form 4868 doesn’t extend the deadline to pay any taxes you may owe. Those still need to be sent by April 18. Form 4868 is meant to only extend the amount of time to file the tax forms that make up your personal return.

So, if you’re ready to get six more months to file your personal tax return, pop on over to www.ExpressExtension.com and sign up to get started!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Form 1040 Filers: Here's How You Can Get 6 Extra Months to File!




No matter what kind of business you run and ACA Forms you file, chances are, you file some version of the Form 1040 for your personal taxes. And whether it’s Form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS, it’s due Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Unless that is, you apply for an extension!

That’s right: just like your ACA Forms and business tax return, your personal tax return deadline can be extended with just a little application. That application is Form 4868, by the way, the Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns. And like other extension applications, it doesn’t extend your time to pay any taxes you owe, but it does grant you an automatic 6-month extension to file your tax forms with the IRS*.

*That “with the IRS” bit is important: Form 4868 is a federal form, so it doesn’t extend your state personal tax deadline, but there may be a form available for your specific state you can utilize instead.


To complete Form 4868, you’ll just need to provide your basic taxpayer information (name, address, SSN), the form you normally file, and your estimated 2016 tax liability. In other words, you’ll need to state whether you expect a tax refund or what you plan to pay in taxes for the 2016 tax year. It’s okay if this is a guess, or even incorrect, so just try your best. If your income hasn’t changed much, you can probably even use previous-year returns to make a better estimate. You also have the option to go ahead and pay your taxes when you file Form 4868.

Another point to note about Form 4868: if you plan on filing your taxes jointly with a spouse, you’ll need to indicate so on your application. You’ll also need to provide your spouse’s taxpayer information, including their name, address, and social security number. And, of course, the deadline to have Form 4868 submitted is the same as your tax return deadline (April 18).

Well, you know if we introduced the form to you, we’ve got a way for you to e-file it! You may have heard us mention before about our sister product, ExpressExtension (they also offer the 7004 Extension Form). And if you can put two and two together, you know exactly where we’re going: you can quickly and easily e-file Form 4868 through ExpressExtension!

Just head on over to www.ExpressExtension.com to learn more or to get started! And if you have any questions, you can always give us a call and we’ll put you in contact with a member of our just-as-stellar ExpressExtension support team, or you can call them yourself at (803) 514-5155.


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