taxes

United Way's VITA Extension and Financial Coaching

VITA Services are extended!

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The United Way VITA (Volunteer Income tax Assistance Program) program has reopened their services until August 30, 2019. What does this mean for you? It means if you haven’t filed your 2018 taxes yet or if you need to file an amended return, you can do it! Maybe you filed 2018 but have not filed 2017 or 2016, VITA can help. If you received a letter from the IRS and need help responding to it, they can also help with that. At WHP, we have people who didn’t reconcile their tax credits either because they didn’t know they were supposed to or their tax preparer didn’t understand the forms. If you didn’t reconcile your tax credits, you need to file an amended return. If you need help with the Homestead Property Tax Credit, they can also help with that.

You still need to meet the same requirements for the regular VITA help.

  • income below $54,000 (single or joint)

  • need to have necessary documents to complete a return (e.g. W-s2, 1099s, etc.)

  • must provide photo identification and federal document with SSN visible

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Since you are reading this online, you have access to a computer and can schedule your appointment online. That is the best way to schedule an appointment. Click here. You will also need to bring all the documents listed here. Some documents may not be relevant to your situation but if you aren’t sure, bring anything you think would be useful. If you have questions before your appointment, call 734-677-7235.


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Myfreetaxes.com is free to anyone whose income is below $66,000. You can file an extension through MyFreeTaxes and finish filing by October 15, 2019. If you owe taxes, the IRS may charge you interest.


Financial Coaching at United Way

In addition to free tax help, United Way staff also provide another financial stability resource, One-on-One Financial Coaching. This service helps people eliminate or reduce debt, improve credit scores and save more money. Answer the questions below to determine if their service is a good fit for you.

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There is a good list of financial resources on their website. Check it out! Here is the flyer you can print out for VITA extended services.

Filing taxes and managing your money are important and your healthcare may depend on being financially responsible and knowledgeable.

United Way of Washtenaw County is located at 2305 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48104. You can call 734-971-8200 or email liveunited@uwwashtenaw.org.

As always, if you have questions call us at the Washtenaw Health Plan. 734-544-3030 #WeHelpPeople

Ask a question in the comments and we will answer it right away!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.
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Settling Up: Reconciling Tax Credits

Imagine that you and a friend want to go to the Bruce Springsteen concert. Your friend says, "I'll get the tickets. I think they are selling for between $80 and $120." You say, "How about if I give you $100, and then when you actually find out the cost, we can settle up." Fast forward to the next week, and your friend tells you they cost $120. You pay the additional $20.

 

In a lot of ways, this is just like the Affordable Care Act's Advance Premium Tax Credits. In advance, you make a good faith estimate of the cost--and at the end of the year, you pay more if your income was higher; and less if your income was lower.

Tax household = 25 year old woman (Angela)

Angela's Estimated income = $22,000  

Advance premium tax credit = $117/month or $1404 for the year

Scenario 1

Angela did not work as much as she thought and her W-2 at the end of the year is $17,500.  

Angela's advance premium tax credit should have been $165/month.  She will receive $576 as part of her tax refund.  ($165 - $ 117 = $48, $48 x 12 = $576)

Scenario 2

Angela picks up a second job and makes an extra $3500.  Her W-2s at the end of the year equal $25,500.  Angela's tax credit should have been $74/month.  Now she may not get as much of a tax refund.  

Scenario 3 

Angela loses her job or her hours are cut in half.  Angela is going to make $12,000 for the year.  Angela should report her income change to the Marketplace and apply for Medicaid. 

 

The process of settling up for Advance Premium Tax Credits is called

RECONCILIATION. 

It's important because, if you don't reconcile the tax credits for one year, you can't get tax credits for the next year.

Imagine that you and a friend want to go to the Bruce Springsteen concert. Your friend says, "I'll get the tickets. I think they are selling for between $80 and $120."  You say, "How about if I give you $100, and then when you actually find out the cost, we can settle up."

Fast forward to the next week, and your friend tells you the tickets cost $120. What if you didn't ever pay your friend the extra $20? Your friend probably wouldn't want to advance money for tickets to the next concert.

So, too, with the Affordable Care Act. If you got tax credits in 2014 or 2015, and you didn't reconcile those tax credits when you did your 2014 or 2015 taxes, you will not get tax credits for 2017.

When you receive Advance Premium Tax Credits from the Marketplace, you are agreeing to file taxes for that year and file jointly if you are married at any time during the year. 

Refund Or Payment?

If you earned less than you estimated when you applied on the Marketplace (or if you had more dependents than you expected you would), you will probably be eligible for additional tax credits. This would be added to any tax refund you might get.

If you made more than you estimated when you applied on the Marketplace (or if you had fewer dependents than you thought you would), you probably got too many tax credits, and will owe back money on your taxes.

How Do I Reconcile APTCs?

To reconcile your taxes, you need to have the correct forms and all your income information for the year.  If you were married at any time during the year, you must file jointly with your spouse.  

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The forms you need are 1095-A, IRS form 8962 and a tax preparer.  It is possible to reconcile yourself, you can read the IRS guidance here.  (Also, there is free help from the VITA program in Washtenaw County.) 

What If I Didn't Reconcile Tax Credits For 2014 Or 2015? Can I Catch Up?

You can amend your taxes and submit them to the IRS. Once you have submitted your amended taxes to the IRS, you can go back into your Marketplace application for 2017 and report a life change. This time, you will be able to answer YES to the question, "Have you reconciled tax credits for 2014 or 2015?" You will receive APTCs for the current year and be able to sign up for health care through the Marketplace.

More Resources

Filing Taxes and Marketplace Health Insurance - Form 8962

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

Tips on How to Amend Your Tax Return from the IRS

IRS.gov

 

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Deductions: "Modifying" Your Adjusted Gross Income Can Save You Money

The Gift Of "MAGI": What Is That?

Adjusted Gross Income is your annual income, as defined by the IRS. If you file taxes using the 1040, you will find it on Line 37. [It is line 4 on the 1040EZ and line 21 on a 1040A.]

For purposes of applying for health care--both Marketplace and Medicaid--and for assessing whether or not health coverage is affordable--the federal government uses "Modified" Adjusted Gross Income, fondly referred to by those of us in "the biz" as MAGI.

*Do you know the story of The Gift of the MAGI?   Pronunciation /ˈmeɪˌdʒaɪ/.

What Gets Modified In Order To Get To A Modified Adjusted Gross Income? Add Backs AND Deductions 

Income includes everything on the list below. More common items are in bold.

  • Wages, Salaries, tips, etc.
  • Taxable interest
  • Taxable amount of pension, annuity, or IRA distributions and social Security benefits
  • Business income, farm income capital gain, other gains (or loss)
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Ordinary dividends
  • Alimony received
  • Rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, trusts, etc.
  • Taxable refunds, credits, or offsets of state and local income taxes
  • Other income

This list is from the UC Berkeley Labor Center MAGI handout.

Add Backs

There are a few things you need to "add back" as income--the most common of those is non-taxable social security benefits. Other possible add backs include tax-exempt interest and foreign earned income for Americans living abroad.

Deductions

If you do a Marketplace or Medicaid application, after you are asked about your income, you are asked if you have any deductions such as alimony or student loan interest. The actual list of potential deductions is quite a bit longer, and might make a difference for you. 

Here is the list. More common items are in bold.

  • Educator expenses
  • Certain business expenses of reservists, performing artists, and fee-basis government officials.
  • Health savings account deduction
  • Moving expenses
  • Deductible part of self-employment tax
  • Self-employed SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans
  • Self-employed health insurance deduction
  • Penalty on early withdrawal of savings
  • Alimony paid
  • IRA deduction
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Tuition and fees
  • Domestic production activities deduction

What This Means

On the Marketplace, cost-sharing goes up to 250% of the poverty level (or $60,750 for a family of 4) and tax credit subsidies go up to 400% of the poverty level (or $97,200 for a family of 4). In some cases, putting money in an IRA, paying tuition, or setting up a health savings account can make your MODIFIED Adjusted Gross Income lower, and you could qualify for more benefits. [Note: Not all Marketplace plans allow the use of health savings accounts, but some of them do.]

Of course, we're not tax experts--so you might want to check with yours!

Resources:

UC Berkeley Labor Center MAGI handout

Advocate's Guide to MAGI from the National Health Law Program. 

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Teens Who Work: Does Their Income Count?

Think of yourself as a teenager. Did you work? Did you have a summer job lifeguarding at a pool, or a year-round job bagging groceries? Did you referee kids' soccer or baseball, or babysit your neighbor's first grader?

If you did work, then you are just like millions of American teenagers, who work for spending money, to help the family pay bills, or to save money for college. 

Found online  here .

Found online here.

Lower-income families, filling out a Medicaid or Marketplace application, may wonder if the teen's income "counts."

Counting A Dependent's Income

The short answer: If the teenager's annual income is less than the required threshold for filing taxes ($6300 for earned income in 2016), then the income does not "count" as family income. If the teenager's annual earned income is more than the required threshold for filing taxes, then the income does "count" as family income. [Unearned income, such as interest from stocks or bonds, has a lower threshold to require tax filing.]
What if you have a dependent who is not a teenager, but who works? For example, what if your elderly mom lives with you and you take her as a dependent on your taxes?  What if she works 5 hours/week at a local store? The same tax filing threshold rules apply.

A Tale Of Two Families

Family 1: Maria, Juan, and Elizabeth

Maria is a single mom of Juan, age 17,  and Elizabeth, age 10. Maria works for a temporary agency and makes about $1700/month, or $20,400 annually. Using just that income, she--and her children--all qualify for Medicaid. 

Juan wants to go to college, and worked all summer scooping ice cream. He made $5,000. During the school year, though, his mom doesn't want him to work, because she wants to make sure he gets good grades. 

TEST YOURSELF: For Medicaid and the Marketplace, is the family income: 

icecreamscoop
  1. $5,000
  2. $20,400
  3. $25,400

 

If you answered #2, $20,400, you are correct. That's because Juan's ice cream income does not get added to the family income because it is less than the tax filing threshold. The entire family should be eligible for Medicaid.

**Note that Juan might still file taxes since he might get some money back in a tax refund--but it's the fact that he doesn't HAVE to file taxes that will mean that his income doesn't get added to his mom's income for the purposes of health insurance eligibility.

 

Family 2: John, Anne, Sarah and Jesse

John and Anne are married. Sarah is 16 and Jesse is 14. John cooks at a restaurant and makes about $2500/month, or $30,000/year. Anne recently went back to college and works very part-time in a grocery store, making about $500/month, or $6,000/year. Sarah wants to go to college, and she also likes to have some spending money, so she works full time in the summer, and part time during the school year, at the restaurant where her dad cooks. This year, she expects made $10,000.

TEST YOURSELF: For Medicaid and the Marketplace, is the family income: 

  1. $6,000
  2. $30,000
  3. $36,000
  4. $46,000

If you answered #4, $46,000, you are correct. That's because Sarah's income is above the tax filing threshold (she must file taxes), and so it gets added to John and Anne's income. The children--Sarah and Jesse--will still be eligible for MIChild. If John does not have an offer of employer insurance, then John and Anne will be able to go on the Marketplace

Resources

Teen Jobs and Tax Issues from Bankrate. 

How to File Your Child's First Income Tax Return from Investopedia. 

IRS Publication 929 - a very detailed explanation of dependents and income filing requirements.  

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Three Steps Toward Qualifying for a Health Care Tax Exemption

In 2015, maybe you...thought you had health care, but you didn't

...you missed open enrollment on the Marketplace

...you lost your job and didn't realize you could apply for Medicaid or the Marketplace

...you thought health care would be too expensive. 

Now, you're doing your taxes, and you realize that you should have had health coverage, and since you didn't, you might need to pay a penalty! The penalty for 2015 could be as much as 2% of your income.

1. Before you panic, take a look at your whole family, and each person individually, to see if all or part of your family qualifies for a tax exemption. 

Look at each person in your family separately to figure out who might qualify for an exemption.

Look at each person in your family separately to figure out who might qualify for an exemption.

If anyone does qualify for an exemption, you will need to fill out IRS form 8965. 

2. The IRS has some excellent resources.

Don't forget--if you are low-income you can do your taxes with free software, free filing, and no messy handwriting!   

Don't forget--if you are low-income you can do your taxes with free software, free filing, and no messy handwriting!

 

If you got a Marketplace exemption, you will get a letter with an Exemption Certificate Number. [Can't find your letter? Log into your account on healthcare.gov and download it again.] If you have an IRS exemption, you just fill it in on Form 8965. 

Common reasons for exemptions:

  • The insurance you were offered was unaffordable
  • You only missed coverage for a couple of months
  • You are a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe.

Less common reasons for exemptions:

  • Someone in your house was out of the country for several months
  • Someone in your household is not documented
  • You had a special hardship, such as an eviction.

3. File your taxes! You can get free help at these locations.

And while you are doing your taxes, think about the implications for next year. If during the next year, you get married...divorced...get a new job...lose a job...have a baby...move...graduate from college...it would be prudent to get a health care check-up! That would be a good time to visit the Washtenaw Health Plan or get some other health insurance help!

 

 

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It's Tax Time! Get (Free) Help!

People need help filing their taxes for many reasons. Whatever the reason, there are some great resources for getting help filing your taxes.  

Remember that the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health care coverage for at least 9 months of the year. You may have received from 1095 from your employer, the state of Michigan or the Marketplace.  Make sure to add this document to the papers you bring to the tax preparation service. 

Here is a list of documents to bring with you to any tax preparation appointment or gather before you start your tax return online:

  • Social Security Card for all family members, picture ID for all adults
  • 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 or contract work
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) letter
  • Copy of your last year's return ( if available)
  • Last year's heating bills (11/2014-11/2015)
  • Any other tax-related letters or documents

 

VITA - United Way of Washtenaw county

FREE income tax preparation assistance from the United Way of Washtenaw County for residents making up to $53,000.

  • Call 734-677-7235 to schedule an appointment or email vita@uwwashtenaw.org.  Appointments are available Thursdays 5:30-8:30pm 2/4/16 to 4/716 and Saturdays 10am-4pm.  Meet at United Way, 2305 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, 48104. 
  • Call 734-428-7722 to schedule an appointment at Manchester Community Resource Center, 410 City Rd. Manchester, 48158.  Appointments are available Mondays 10am-3pm 2/1/16 to 3/21/16. 

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 $62,000 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 1 hour.  

 

AARP Tax Aide

TAX AIDE LOCATOR - FIND AN AGENCY NEAR YOU

AARP Tax Aide offers free tax preparation help to anyone, especially if you’re 50 and older and can’t afford a tax preparation service.  Find a location using the Tax Aide Locator below.  Washtenaw county locations include the Ann Arbor Community center, Milan Senior Center, Saline Area Senior Center, Ypsilanti District Library and more. 

 

Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County

Limited income senior citizens can call 734-712-0588 to find out more information about how to make an appointment. The program works year-round with community senior centers (Ypsilanti, Chelsea, Dexter, Northfield and Pittsfield Twp.) and senior housing facilities to schedule appointments regarding tax form preparation, Michigan Home Heating Credit, Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit and Michigan and Federal Tax Returns. 

 

U of M Law School Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (UMLS LITC)

UM Law School  LITC helps clients resolve issues (issues involving <$50,000) with the IRS.  Call 734-936-3535 to see if you are eligible or complete an online client application.

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Filing Taxes and Marketplace Health Insurance - Form 8962

Forms you need to file

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone needs to have insurance.  When you file your taxes, you prove that you had insurance by submitting a form.  If you were enrolled in health insurance during 2015, you will receive one or more copies of a 1095-A, B or C.  (Read about those forms here.)  Your 1095 forms will be mailed in early February.  You can also find your 1095-A in your Marketplace account in your messages.  These forms are filled out by the Marketplace, your employer, or Medicaid. Don't fill it out yourself--if you think the information is wrong, you can get a corrected form.  

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If you take your tax information to a tax preparer, bring those forms with you.  If you prepare your own tax forms, you will need those forms to file your taxes. 

If you had employer coverage or coverage through public insurance like Medicaid or Medicare, you simply provide those forms when you file your taxes. If you got health coverage through the Marketplace, it is a different story.

Reconciling Tax Credits

If you received tax credits to help pay your health insurance premiums, then you paid part of your health insurance costs and the government paid part of your health insurance costs.


At the end of the year you reconcile your tax credits when you file your taxes. You will need Form 8962 and your 1095-A.  Remember when you enrolled in Marketplace insurance, you agreed to file taxes and reconcile the income reported on your application with your actual income on your tax return.  

 

As can be seen in the example above,  you get Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) when you do your application for health insurance on the Marketplace. At the end of the year, you take a look back. If you estimated correctly on your income, your Advance Premium Tax Credits turn into Premium Tax Credits, and you don't owe anything, but you also don't get anything back. If you estimated low (and end up making more money), you may owe back some of those tax credits. If you estimated your income high (and don't do as well financially), you may get some additional Premium Tax Credits. This reconciliation, as it is called, happens with the help of Form 8962.

You only need to reconcile tax credits for the months where you had APTCs. If, for instance, you had employer coverage the first half of the year, and Marketplace coverage the second half of the year, you will indicate that on your taxes, but you will only reconcile your APTCs for the second half of the year.

One more caveat--if you don't reconcile your tax credits, then you won't be able to get Advance Premium Tax Credits on the Marketplace next year.

Coming soon: How to get tax help

--M. Buhalis and R. Kraut

 

 

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