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IRS Notices: N-2015-21 and N-2015-22

The IRS recently published notices concerning gross income and waivers for farmers and fishermen who received erroneous Forms 1095-A:

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Five Key Facts about Unemployment Benefits

On Tuesday, the IRS released unemployment benefits information that can help tax preparers keep their clients informed of available compensation. The article discusses whether recipients need to report this income on their taxes, if their benefits are paid by the state or federal government, where they can go for further help, and more.

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What the ACA Supreme Court Case Means To Tax Preparers

On Wednesday, March 4, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell, a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Unlike many of the cases to come before the high court, this is not a question of constitutionality but rather an interpretation of the intent of Congress when it passed the healthcare legislation in 2010. 

The case hinges on the meaning of six words that define whether taxpayers enrolled in state healthcare exchanges may lose their tax subsidies — the line that refers to subsidies flowing through “an Exchange established by the State.”  If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, millions of Americans in 33 states could lose the tax subsidies they need to pay for their health care under the ACA. 

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IRS Press Release: IRS Provides Estimated Tax Penalty Relief to Farmers and Fishermen Receiving Corrected Premium Tax Credit Forms

WASHINGTON ― Farmers and fishermen who miss this year’s March 2 tax deadline because they are receiving corrected premium tax credit forms (Form 1095-A) from the Health Insurance Marketplace  will have until April 15, 2015, to file their 2014 returns and pay any tax due, the Internal Revenue Service recently announced.

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IRS Tax Tips: Key Points to Know About Early Retirement Distributions

The IRS recently released information about early retirement distributions that could prove useful to tax preparers, covering additional taxes on early withdrawals, nontaxable withdrawals, check exceptions, and more:

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IRS Press Release: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Members Selected

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service recommended and the Department of Treasury approved the selection of 29 new members to serve on the nationwide Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP). The TAP is a federal advisory committee charged with providing taxpayer suggestions to improve IRS customer service.

The new TAP members will join 46 returning members to round out the panel of 75 volunteers for 2015. The new members were selected from more than 400 interested individuals who applied during an open recruitment period last spring and the pool of alternate members who applied in prior years.

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IRS Press Release: IRS Warns Tax Preparers to Watch out for New Phishing Scam; Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking Updated Information

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service warned return preparers and other tax professionals to be on guard against bogus emails making the rounds seeking updated personal or professional information that in reality are phishing schemes.

“I urge taxpayers to be wary of clicking on strange emails and websites,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “They may be scams to steal your personal information.”

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Press Release: Hatch Presses CMS on Opt-Out for Insurers on Federal Exchanges

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) penned a letter pressing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for information on an opt-out provision crafted to guarantee insurance companies on the federal exchange the right to end their contracts if federal subsidies such as the Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) are terminated.   The letter, written to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, was sent on the heels of the Administration announcing in a letter to Chairman Hatch that they have no contingency plans for patients on federal exchanges if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the Obama Administration in the King v. Burwell case.   [Read more…]

IRS Press Release: Tax Refunds Reach Almost $125 Billion Mark; Available for Tax Help

WASHINGTON — Almost 40 million tax refunds worth nearly $125 billion have been issued as of Feb. 20, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics released yesterday. The average refund is $3,120.

The IRS has processed nearly 50 million returns, about one-third of the total individual federal income tax returns the agency expects to receive this year, with almost 83 percent of those returns resulting in refunds. More than 92 percent of refunds have been directly deposited into taxpayer accounts. The IRS recommends direct deposit as a safe, quick way for taxpayers to get their refunds.

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IRS Press Release: How to Determine if the Net Investment Income Tax Applies to You

If you have income from investments, you may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. You may owe this tax if you receive investment income and your income for the year is more than certain limits. Here are some key tips you should know about this tax:

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