800,000 Taxpayers Received Wrong Tax Info from Health Insurance Marketplace
BY MICHAEL COHN
Approximately 800,000 taxpayers who received health care coverage through the federal insurance marketplace Healthcare.gov were sent the wrong information on their Form 1095-A and are being urged to wait to file their taxes until the first week of March when they receive the correct information from the federal government.
“About 20 percent of the tax filers who had Federally-facilitated Marketplace coverage in 2014 and used tax credits to lower their premium cost —about 800,000 (< 1% of total tax filers) —will soon receive an updated
Form 1095-A because the original version they were issued listed an incorrect benchmark plan premium amount,” said a blog post on the Web site of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Based upon preliminary estimates, we understand that approximately 90-95% of these tax filers haven’t filed their tax return yet. We are advising them to wait until the first week of March when they receive their new form or go online for correct information before filing. For those who have filed their taxes—approximately 50,000 (< 0.05% of total tax filers) —the Treasury Department will provide additional information soon.”
CMS noted that taxpayers who received health coverage under the Affordable Care Act should have received a statement in the mail in February from the health insurance marketplace called a Form 1095-A. The statement includes important information needed to complete and file their tax returns. One piece of information included on the 1095-A is the premium amount for the “second lowest cost Silver plan” in the taxpayer’s area. This premium amount represents the benchmark plan used to determine the amount of premium tax credit they were eligible to receive. Unfortunately that information was calculated incorrectly for many taxpayers, although CMS stressed that it won’t be an issue for the majority who received health coverage through Healthcare.gov.
CMS noted that taxpayers whose forms were affected will receive a phone call about the problem from the Marketplace by early March, in addition to letters and emails with additional information about the status of their forms. “It’s important to note that this issue does not affect the majority of Marketplace consumers and only affects people who signed up through one of the 37 states using HealthCare.gov,” said CMS. “About 80 percent of Marketplace consumers who received a 1095-A from the federal Marketplace do not have affected forms and should go ahead and file their annual tax return. Additionally, this issue does not mean that consumers received the incorrect amount of tax credit throughout the year. It’s also important to note that this does not affect the vast majority of tax filers who will just need to check a box on their tax return to indicate that they had health coverage in 2014 either through their employer, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans care, or other qualified health coverage programs.“
Taxpayers who are concerned about the status of their 1095-A forms can find out if they are affected by logging in to their account at HealthCare.gov. They will see a notice message that will let them know if their form was or was not affected. Approximately 90 percent of tax filers with Marketplace coverage through HealthCare.gov who received a 1095-A will find that their form was not affected by the issue, according to CMS, and will be able to file their taxes with their current form.
If their form was affected, CMS advised them to wait to file their tax return until they receive a corrected 1095-A Form from the Marketplaces. New forms will be sent from the Marketplace beginning in early March and taxpayers will also receive a message in their Marketplace account on HealthCare.gov.
If taxpayers need to file their taxes before them, CMS is making available a tool to help them determine the correct amount of the second lowest cost Silver plan that applied to their household in 2014. They can also call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) for assistance.
CMS said it acted quickly once it learned about the problem. “As soon as we discovered the error, we immediately began examining who was affected, how to communicate about the error, and how to make the corrections process as simple as possible for consumers,” said CMS. “We are committed to making sure that consumers who need corrected forms are contacted with updates and will receive new forms quickly. We are focused on making sure that every Marketplace consumer understands how taxes and health care intersect and if they need to get a corrected form, the steps they need to take.”
Separately, CMS also announced Friday that it will implement a special enrollment period for individuals who learn, at the time they file their taxes, of the Affordable Care Act-mandated tax penalty for not having health insurance coverage (see CMS Announces Special Tax Season ACA Enrollment Period).
At least one lawmaker in Congress expressed her outrage about the glitch. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., a member of the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee and a nurse for more than 40 years, said in a statement, “The Obama Administration has built a healthcare law so complex, so confusing, and so costly that even they don’t know how to properly administer it. From a faulty website, to staggering cost estimates, to more Administration-led delays, the hits just keep coming under Obamacare. Now, the White House tells us in a classic Friday news dump that nearly one million Americans could see their tax refunds delayed because of this President’s inability to implement his own law. This is beyond embarrassing for President Obama and is an unfair blow to taxpayers who are once again left holding the bag for this Administration’s incompetence. Moreover, it is yet another example of why the House voted earlier this month with my support to repeal this disastrous law once and for all.”
SmartVault is the company we are using for our new Client Portal. You can access your Client Portal several different ways. Including apps on your phone or tablet and going directly through the web page. This gives you and MB Tax Pro a secure place to share files. You will have a "Correspondence" folder and a folder for your tax returns. This is our preferred method of electronic communication and safest way to share your personal information online.
We will invite you and you will be asked to set up a password and sign into your Client Portal. You will only need to do this once and then you will be good to go.
Turn your phone into a mobile scanner. Genius Scan is a great way to take those files from your mailbox and turn them into PDFs and send them to us. Click the link, download it on your phone or tablet. http://www.thegrizzlylabs.com/
Client Portal Website:
The website is great for PDFs, Excell worksheets, QuickBooks files (backup copies) and other files you may need to share with us. There are also apps for your computer. Add on buttons for Outlook, Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Xero and your computer itself. An easy way to take a document and send it to your Client Portal
Client Portal App:
Use your iPad or iPhone to send us documents.
Download the app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smartvault-for-ipad/id551492813?mt=8
After you download the app you will sign in and now you have your secure Client Portal on your mobile device. Simply take a picture of the documents and add it to your file. And you are good to go.
Your Client Portal link is:
Click the link, sign in and start sharing your important tax documents with us.
If you already filed your federal tax return and are due a refund, you have several options to check on your refund. Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about checking the status of your refund. "Where’s My Refund?" is an interactive tool on http://www.irs.gov and is the fastest, easiest way to get information about your federal income tax refund. Whether you split your refund among several accounts, opted for direct deposit into one account, used part of your refund to buy U.S. Savings Bonds or asked the IRS to mail you a check, Where’s My Refund? gives you online access to your refund information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s quick, easy and secure. If you e-file, you can get refund information 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. If you file a paper return, refund information will generally be available three to four weeks after mailing your return. When checking the status of your refund, have your federal tax return handy. To get your personalized refund information you must enter your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status which will be Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married, Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er), AND the exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your tax return. IRS2Go is is the IRS’ first smartphone application that lets taxpayers check on the status of their tax refund. Apple users can download the free IRS2Go application by visiting the Apple App Store. Android users can visit the Android Marketplace to download the free IRS2Go app.
Want to check on the status of your Oregon personal income tax refund? With just your name, your Social Security number, and last year's Oregon Taxable Income, you can look up your status online! It's safe, it's secure, and it's really easy, just go to "Where's My Refund?" and follow the steps online.
You will need the following to check the status of your California personal income tax refund: Your social security number, your mailing address, and the refund amount shown on your tax return. For more information and to check on your refund, see "Where's My Refund California?"
Generally, you'll get your refund in six to eight weeks from the date we receive your return. You'll get it faster if you e-file your return and have your refund deposited directly into your bank account. If we identify an issue with a tax return, our review may take longer than six to eight weeks.
To check the status of your refund, see Income Tax Refund Status.
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Pick Ups & Extensions
The tax deadline is fast approaching. We will be serving snacks and beverages on April 14th and 15th for any clients who want to stop by and help us celebrate another tax season close. If your tax return is done and ready to be picked up you are welcome to stop by anytime between 10:00 and 6:00 Monday thru Friday and 10:00 and 5:00 on Saturdays. Other times can be arranged by appointment. You can also pay by phone and have your forms mailed or emailed to you. If you have not met with us or dropped off your tax information yet then we will need to put you on extension. Please contact our office to give us permission to file your extension for you.
Where's My Refund?
If you already filed your tax return and are due a refund, you have several options to check on your refund. You can find your IRS, Oregon, California and New York refund on our blog. You will need your blue folder as they will ask you specific questions.
Office Hours & April 15th
We are wrapping up the full time office hours that we keep during our busy tax season. The office will be closed from Tuesday, April 16th through Monday, April 28th. If you haven't completed your 2013 taxes with us yet and need an extension, please let us know. All extensions and completed 2013 tax returns must be filed by April 15th. All tax is due on April 15th, whether or not you have filed a completed tax return, so if you think you may owe tax, please let us know that as well when filing your extension. If you receive any correspondence from the IRS, Oregon, the City of Portland, or any other entity regarding your taxes, please email it over right away to firstname.lastname@example.org , or fax it over to 503.282.0513. Happy Spring!
First Quarter Estimated Tax Payment Due
Your first quarter estimated tax payment is due on April 15th. If you have any questions about this first payment please call or email the office at 503.595.5890 or email@example.com and we will do our best to help you.
April 9 - The Joyners in 3D signing with David Marquez and Tara Rhymes
David Marquez is the New York Times bestselling artist of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, All-New X-Men and Fantastic Four: Season One, and made his comics debut with writer R.J. Ryan in 2010 with the graphic novel Syndrome. David is based in Portland, OR.
Tara Rhymes earned her BFA at the University of Texas at Austin with a focus in Studio Art and Transmedia. The Joyners in 3D markes her comics debut, co-developing the 3D process used in the book. She lives and works in Portland, OR.
For more information, visit: floatingworldcomics.com/archives/2058
“At MB we are tax professionals and business consultants. We are in partnership with you, year round, to lower your tax liability to the fullest extent of the law, maximize profits, inspire growth and provide peace of mind.”