Tax

Get (Free) Help With Your Taxes!

taxtimeneedhelp.jpg

Don't pay to have your taxes prepared!  

You can get free help if you are low income (less than 54,000/year for in person help or less than $66,000/year for online help).  

People need help filing their taxes for many reasons. Whatever the reason, there are some great resources.  Scroll down for a complete list of help in Washtenaw County. For anywhere else in the country, go to myfreetaxes.com and look for assistance from a local United Way—or do-it-yourself online!

What About the Health Insurance Requirement?

1040taxform.jpg

The Affordable Care Act required that most people have health care in 2018 or pay a penalty (shared responsibility payment) unless you qualify for an exemption.  If you had health care through the Marketplace (healthcare.gov) make sure you bring your 1095-A with you when you go to file your taxes.  Your 1095-A is available in the Messages section of your Marketplace (healthcare.gov) account.  You can also call the Marketplace (1-800-318-2596) and they can give the account holder the information over the phone.

For 2019, there is still a mandate requiring people to have health insurance but there is no longer a penalty. When filing taxes in 2020 for the 2019 year, there would be no penalty for not having health insurance.

EXEMPTIONS from the Shared Responsibility Payment

If you are an undocumented immigrant filing taxes using an ITIN number, or if your income is very low, or if your employer insurance was too expensive, you may not have to pay a penalty.  If you are not sure you qualify for an exemption, use the Health Coverage Exemptions tool.  The Exemptions Tool uses your answers to find exemptions that may work for you. It helps you see if you may qualify and tells you how to apply.  If you do qualify, talk to your tax preparer about receiving an exemption.  No tax preparer should ever collect money from you for not having health insurance, only the IRS can collect the shared responsibility payment.  [You can also read about the exemptions on the IRS web site.]

What Information Do You Need To File Taxes?

Here is a list of documents to bring with you to any tax preparation appointment or gather before you start your tax return online.  Make sure to contact your preparer about any specific requirements for receiving help.

  • Social Security or ITIN numbers for all family members, photo ID

  • W-2 forms for all jobs worked in the previous year

  • Proof of rent or mortgage and property tax payments

  • Childcare provider's name, address and federal tax ID number

  • Blank, voided check or deposit slip to set up direct deposit of refund

  • 1099 forms for other income, including unemployment, retirement, contract work

  • Social Security Letter(s) or W-2s

  • 1095-A, if you had health care from the Marketplace (healthcare.gov)

  • Copy of your last year's return (if available)

  • A heating bill from November 2015 - February 2016 or access to your energy bill online

  • Any other tax-related letters or documents

WHERE Can You go for Free Help? 

VITA - UNITED WAY OF WASHTENAW COUNTY

FREE income tax preparation assistance from the United Way of Washtenaw County for residents making up to $54,000 in 2018.

To schedule an appointment call 734-677-7235 or schedule online here.   Multiple locations can be scheduled online including the agencies below.

  • United Way, 2305 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, 48104. 734-677-7235

  • Manchester Community Resource Center 710 East Main St., Manchester, 48158. 734-428-7722

  • Michigan Works! 304 Harriet St., Ypsilanti, 48197.

  • EMU College of Business 300 W. Michigan Ave. Ypsilanti, 48197.

Many other areas in Michigan have VITA or other tax assistance--use this link to find help in your area.

MYFREETAXES.COM

Do you use a computer?  Do you have access to the computer?  Does your family make $66,000 or less? Myfreetaxes.com is a free online service for tax preparation and filing from United Way and H&R Block.  

Myfreetaxes.com provides email, live chat and telephone support in English and Spanish. 80% of people who filed using this service finished in less than one hour.  If you do not have a computer or would prefer in-person help, computers are available during open VITA clinic hours at the United Way. Computers and volunteer assistance available on a first come, first served basis.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

AARP serves adults (55+) with low incomes. Call to make an appointment or inquire about walk-in times.

  • Housing Bureau for Seniors @ the Turner Center 2401 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, 48105. Call 734-998-9341.

  • Milan Senior Center 45 Neckel Ct., Milan, 48160. Call 734-508-6229.

  • Saline Area Senior Center 7190 N. Maple Rd., Saline, 48176. Call 734-429-9274.

  • Ypsilanti District Library 229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti, 48197. Call 734-482-4110 Ext. 1385.

  • Chelsea Senior Center 512 E. Washington St., Chelsea, 48118. Call 734-475-9242 for Jennifer Smith.

Ann Arbor Senior Center

Ann Arbor Senior Center serves adults (55+) with low incomes. 1320 Baldwin Ave., Ann Arbor, 48104. Call 734-998-9341.

St. Francis

Adults and families with low incomes who have non-complex returns to file. 2150 Frieze Ave., Ann Arbor, 48104. Call 734-769-2550 and ask for Scott Wright.

Print Friendly and PDF

Subscribe to our blog here!

Tax Day Is Coming! Here's What You Need

April 15th falls on a Sunday, and Washington DC celebrates Emancipation Day (the day Lincoln freed the slaves) on Monday, April 16th so Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17, 2018. 

April 15th falls on a Sunday, and Washington DC celebrates Emancipation Day (the day Lincoln freed the slaves) on Monday, April 16th so Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17, 2018. 

In 2017, you were required to have insurance all year unless you qualified for an exemption. You might have gotten your insurance from an employer, from public insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, VA coverage), or from private insurance (purchased separately or from the Marketplace). And now your 2017 taxes are due. Don't get confused, get organized!

 

Forms, Forms, Forms...

If you got insurance from an employer or public insurance, you should have gotten 1095-B or 1095-C forms from them. You can file your taxes without those forms, though, because they are also reporting to the IRS.

If you got insurance through the Marketplace, you need the 1095-A form. You can find that online in your healthcare.gov account. With the information you have on the 1095-A form, you can reconcile your tax credits, which you do using IRS Form 8962.

Find out more about how to reconcile tax credits with this handy explanation.

If you got private insurance without tax credits, your insurer should have your 1095-A, and you don't file for tax credits. You still have to submit the 1095-A as proof you had insurance.

 

I Didn't Have Insurance. Can I Get An Exemption?

If you didn't have insurance for the whole year, you might have qualified for an exemption. Common exemptions would be: 

  • you were uncovered for less than 3 months (perhaps you moved or switched jobs)
  • cost of insurance for the household was more than 8% of your income and was unaffordable
  • your income is below the tax-filing threshold 
  • you were living out of the country for all or part of the year.

There are other exemptions, too. You file for an exemption using IRS Form 8965. Find out more below. 

 

No Exemption?  No Insurance?  Pay a penalty.

If you don't qualify for an exemption, and you didn't have insurance, you might need to pay a penalty. For the 2017 plan year, the fee is calculated 2 different ways — as a percentage of your yearly household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher.

1. Percentage of income: 2.5% of yearly household income. The maximum is the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace.

or

2. Per person per year: $695 per adult or $347.50 per child under 18. The maximum is $2,085 per household. 

 

A Household Is Made Up Of Individuals

Familycolorful.png

NOTE: Think about each person in the household separately! In some cases, you may have one person on the Marketplace or with employer insurance, one person with an exemption based on affordability, and a child on Medicaid or MIChild.

If you finish your taxes, you realize you will owe some money, and you don't want that to happen again, come visit us at 555 Towner, Ypsilanti, MI M-F 9-4 p.m., or call us at 734-544-3030, for a free consultation.

Print Friendly and PDF

Subscribe to our blog here!

1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: What are they and what do I do with them?

En Espanol-  1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: ¿Qué son y qué debo hacer con ellos?

You may have recently received a form in the mail from DHHS, your employer or the Marketplace. The 1095 form is your "proof of health care coverage" for 2017.  Remember if you did not have health care coverage for more than 3 months, you are required to pay a shared responsibility payment (penalty).  

You will need this form when you go to file your taxes.  There are 3 types of 1095 forms--for Marketplace insurance, public insurance, and employer insurance. If your status changed during the year, or if you had multiple employers, you may get more than one type of 1095!

Form 1095-A

Form 1095-A

1095-A Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

If you had health care coverage through the Marketplace for any part of 2017,  you will receive a 1095-A.  If you selected electronic communications, you will receive an email notifying you that your 1095-A can be downloaded from your Marketplace account at healthcare.gov.  

Your marketplace statement will indicate your tax credit and this form is used to determine whether you may have to pay part of your tax credit back or whether you will receive more of a tax credit. 

Form 1095-A is used to fill out Form 8962 to reconcile the tax credits you received with your actual 2017 income.  (Read about Form 8962 in this blog post!)

Form 1095-B

Form 1095-B

1095-B Health Coverage

You will receive a 1095-B form if your health care was provided by your employer or was provided by the government through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP, MIChild in Michigan), Medicaid, Medicare or a basic health plan.  These forms may not be mailed until after March 2.  The IRS states it is not necessary to file a 1095-B with your taxes. 

Form 1095-C

Form 1095-C

1095-C Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

Employees will receive a 1095-C if you health care was sponsored by your employer.  

Want more details? The IRS has detailed information about the 1095 forms here.

 

Two More Tax Forms

You may also need to reconcile your tax credits with Form 8962 or claim a health coverage exemption with Form 8965.  (Read about Form 8962 in this blog post!)

healthcaretaxformchart
Print Friendly and PDF

Subscribe to our blog here!

1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: ¿Qué son y qué debo hacer con ellos?

In English- 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: What are they and what do I do with them? 

Es posible que haya recibido recientemente un formulario por correo de DHHS, su empleador o el Marketplace. El formulario 1095 es su "prueba de cobertura de atención médica" para el año 2017. Recuerde que si usted no tenía cobertura de atención médica por más de 3 meses, se le requiere pagar un pago de responsabilidad compartida (penalidad). 

Necesitará este formulario cuando vaya a presentar sus impuestos. Hay 3 tipos de formularios 1095 - para el seguro del mercado, seguro público y seguro del empleador. Si su estado cambió durante el año, o si tuvo varios empleadores, ¡puede obtener más de uno de estos

1095 - UNA DECLARACIÓN DEL MERCADO DE SEGUROS DE SALUD 

Si usted tenía cobertura de atención médica a través del Mercado de Salud durante cualquier parte de 2017, recibirá un 1095-A. Si seleccionó comunicaciones electrónicas, recibirá un correo electrónico informándole que su 1095-A puede descargarse de su cuenta de Mercado de Seguros en healthcare.gov.

Su declaración del mercado indicará su crédito tributario y este formulario se usará para determinar si tendrá que pagar parte de su crédito tributario de vuelta o si recibirá más de un crédito fiscal. 
El Formulario 1095-A se usa para llenar el Formulario 8962 para conciliar los créditos tributarios que recibió con su ingreso real de 2017. (Lea sobre el Formulario 8962 en el blog!)

 

1095-B COBERTURA DE SALUD
Recibirá un formulario 1095-B si su atención médica fue proporcionada por su empleador o fue proporcionada por el gobierno a través del Programa de Seguro de Salud para Niños (CHIP, MIChild en Michigan), Medicaid, Medicare o un plan básico de salud. 

 

 

1095-C OFERTA Y COBERTURA DE SEGUROS DE SALUD PROPORCIONADO POR EL EMPLEADOR

Los empleados recibirán un 1095-C si la atención médica fue patrocinada por su empleador. 
¿Quieres más detalles? El IRS tiene información detallada sobre los formularios 1095 aquí.

 

DOS FORMAS MÁS DE IMPUESTOS

También puede necesitar reconciliar sus créditos fiscales o reclamar una exención de cobertura de salud - y los formularios 8962 y 8965 le permiten hacer eso. 
Escribiremos más sobre la atención médica y los impuestos en las próximas semanas. ¡Este es solo el comienzo!

taxformchart
Print Friendly and PDF

Subscribe to our blog here!

Preparación de Impuestos Gratuita or Get (Free) Help With Your Taxes!

 

¡NO PAGUE PARA QUE LE PREPAREN SU DECLARACIÓN DE IMPUESTOS!

Usted puede obtener ayuda gratuita si tiene ingresos bajos (menos de $53,000 / año).
La gente necesita ayuda para presentar sus impuestos por muchas razones. Cualquiera que sea su razón, aquí hay algunos grandes recursos.


La Ley del Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (The Affordable Care Act) requiere que la mayoría de las personas tengan cuidado de la salud o paguen una multa (pago de responsabilidad compartida) al menos que califique para una exención. Si usted tenía cuidado médico a través del Mercado de Salud (healthcare.gov) asegúrese de traer su formulario 1095-A con usted cuando vaya a presentar sus impuestos. Su 1095-A está disponible en la sección Mensajes de su cuenta de Mercado de Salud (healthcare.gov). También, puede llamar al Mercado de Salud(1-800-318-2596) y ellos le pueden dar al titular de la cuenta, la información por teléfono.


EXENCIONES DEL PAGO DE RESPONSABILIDAD COMPARTIDA


Si usted es un inmigrante indocumentado que presenta impuestos usando un número ITIN, o si su ingreso es muy bajo, o si su seguro de empleador es demasiado caro, pueda que no tenga que pagar una penalidad. Si usted no está seguro sí califica para una exención, use la herramienta Exenciones de cobertura de salud. La Herramienta de Exenciones utiliza sus respuestas para encontrar exenciones que pueden funcionar para usted. Le ayuda a ver si puede calificar y le dice cómo aplicar. Si califica, hable con su preparador de impuestos sobre como recibir una exención. Ningún preparador de impuestos le debe cobrar dinero por no tener seguro de salud, sólo el IRS puede recoger el pago de responsabilidad compartida.

 

¿QUÉ INFORMACIÓN NECESITA PARA PRESENTAR LOS IMPUESTOS?


Aquí hay una lista de documentos para llevar con usted a cualquier cita de preparación de impuestos o lo que necesita reunir antes de comenzar su declaración de impuestos en línea. Asegúrese de ponerse en contacto el preparador de impuestos acerca de los requisitos necesarios para recibir ayuda.

 

  • Números de Seguro Social para todos los miembros de la familia, identificación con foto
  • Formularios W-2 para todos los trabajos en el año anterior
  • Comprobante de pago de alquiler o hipoteca y pago de impuestos sobre la propiedad
  • Nombre, dirección y número de identificación fiscal federal del proveedor de cuidado infantil
  • Cheque en blanco, anulado o cheque de depósito para establecer el depósito directo del reembolso
  • 1099 formularios para otros ingresos, incluyendo desempleo, jubilación, contrato de trabajo
  • Carta (s) de Seguro Social o W-2s
  • 1095-A, si usted tenía cuidado médico del Mercado de Salud (healthcare.gov)
  • Copia de la declaración de impuestos del último año (si está disponible)
  • Una factura de calefacción de noviembre de 2015 a febrero de 2016 o el acceso a su factura de energía en línea
  • Cualquier otra carta o documento relacionado con impuestos


¿DÓNDE PUEDE IR PARA AYUDA GRATIS?

VITA - UNITED WAY CONDADO DE WASHTENAW
Ayuda gratuita para la preparación de impuestos de United Way del Condado de Washtenaw para residentes que ganan hasta $ 53,000 en 2016.


Llame al 734-677-7235 para programar una cita o llene este formulario. Encuentrenos en United Way, 2305 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, 48104.


Muchas otras áreas en Michigan tienen VITA u otra ayuda de impuesto - utilice este enlace para encontrar ayuda en su área.


MYFREETAXES.COM

¿Usa una computadora? ¿Tiene acceso a una computadora? ¿Su familia gana $64,000 o menos? Myfreetaxes.com es un servicio en línea gratuito para la preparación y presentación de impuestos de United Way y H & R Block.


Myfreetaxes.com ofrece correo electrónico, chat en vivo y asistencia telefónica en inglés y español. El 80% de las personas que presentaron sus impuestos usando este servicio terminaron en menos de 1 hora. Si no tiene una computadora o prefiere ayuda en persona, hay computadoras disponibles durante las horas abiertas de la clínica VITA. Computadoras y asistencia voluntaria son disponibles por orden de llegada.


OFICINA DE VIVIENDA PARA PERSONAS MAYORES Clinica de Impuestos Gratuita

La Oficina de Vivienda para la Clínica de Impuestos para Personas Mayores está tomando citas. La asistencia tributaria es proporcionada por voluntarios capacitados y abierta a individuos de todas las edades. Los voluntarios le puede ayudar con las formas 1040 y créditos Federales y estatales de MIchigan, y las devoluciones enmendadas. La asistencia para completar las exenciones de la pobreza y los aplazamientos de impuestos para disminuir las facturas del impuesto sobre la propiedad también están disponibles.

  • Llame al 734-998-9341 para programar una cita. Disponibilidad limitada.
  • Las citas están disponibles los viernes del 3 de febrero al 7 de abril y los siguientes miércoles; 8 de febrero, 15 de febrero, 15 de marzo y 5 de abril.
Print Friendly and PDF

Subscribe to our blog here!

1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: What are they and what do I do with them?

En Espanol-  1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: ¿Qué son y qué debo hacer con ellos?

You may have recently received a form in the mail from DHHS, your employer or the Marketplace. The 1095 form is your "proof of health care coverage" for 2015.  Remember if you did not have health care coverage for more than 3 months, you are required to pay a shared responsibility payment (penalty).  

You will need this form when you go to file your taxes.  There are 3 types of 1095 forms--for Marketplace insurance, public insurance, and employer insurance. If your status changed during the year, or if you had multiple employers, you may get more than one of these!

Form 1095-A

Form 1095-A

1095-A Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

If you had health care coverage through the Marketplace for any part of 2015,  you will receive a 1095-A.  If you selected electronic communications, you will receive an email notifying you that your 1095-A can be downloaded from your Marketplace account  at healthcare.gov.  

Your marketplace statement will indicate your tax credit and this form is used to determine whether you may have to pay part of your tax credit back or whether you will receive more of a tax credit. 

Form 1095-A is used to fill out Form 8962 to reconcile the tax credits you received with your actual 2015 income.  (Read about Form 8962 in our next blog post!)

1095B

1095-B Health Coverage

You will receive a 1095-B form if your health care was provided by your employer or was provided by the government through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP, MIChild in Michigan), Medicaid, Medicare or a basic health plan. 

 

1095C

1095-C Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

Employees will receive a 1095-C if you health care was sponsored by your employer.  

Want more details? The IRS has detailed information about the 1095 forms here.

Two More Tax Forms

You may also need to reconcile your tax credits, or claim a health coverage exemption--and forms 8962 and 8965 allow you to do that.

We will write more about health care and taxes in the next few weeks.  This is just the beginning!

healthcaretaxformchart
Print Friendly and PDF

Subscribe to our blog here!

Self-Employed? The Marketplace and Medicaid are Open for You!

carpenter

Let's say that you have a small carpentry business, or you run a day care. Most of the time it's just you, occasionally you pay a helper. Your business is really too small to get a health insurance plan through the business. 

But...

Depending on your income, it is very likely that you can choose an affordable plan on the Marketplace. If your income is on the low side, you may even qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid income guideline information.

When we talk about INCOME for people who are SELF-EMPLOYED, we are really talking about NET PROFIT. 

incomeminusexpenseequalsnetincome

So--let's say that you get paid $10,000/month for a contract, but your expenses are $5,000/month. Your NET PROFIT is $5,000/month. If that is steady year-round, then you would have an annual income of $60,000. But for many people who are self-employed, contracts have their highs and lows. It could be that you make a net profit of $5,000/month five months out of the year. The rest of the time, you barely break even. That would give you an annual income of $25,000.

AGILine37onTaxform

For most self-employed people, your adjusted gross income (found on line 37 of the front page of your 1040 taxes) can be used to qualify for either the Marketplace or Medicaid. You can use last year's information to prove your income, unless you have some reason to think that your income this year will be significantly different from last year.

Maybe you won (or lost) a big contract. In that case, your income/expense statement from the last few months will be your best guide. [Note: Your income/expense statement does not have to be anything fancy! An Excel spreadsheet, or even a handwritten accounting, will work. And of course, if you prefer, there are smartphone apps that will help you.]

Last, but not least--if one person in a household has an offer of employer insurance, that can also affect eligibility. Read more about employer offered insurance.

whyhealthinsurance

In fact, the biggest obstacles for self-employed people getting insurance through Medicaid or the Marketplace are often these two things:

1. They didn't know they could qualify.

fileyourtaxes

2. They haven't done last year's taxes. Doing last year's taxes isn't a requirement for getting health coverage, but it does make things a lot easier. However--if you do get a Marketplace plan, you will need to do your taxes for the following year to reconcile your Advanced Premium Tax Credits. 

If you think you will qualify for the Marketplace (healthcare.gov), you must sign up during Open Enrollment, November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.  Medicaid enrollment is always open, you can apply anytime at https://www.mibridges.michigan.gov/.  If you are not sure, please call a nonprofit agency to help you.  Find one close to you and make an appointment

NOTE: Is your business a bit bigger? Check out the SHOP Marketplace to see if you can offer insurance to everyone who works for you!

--R. Kraut

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Subscribe to our blog here!