By now most of you are aware of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill that was passed on December 20th. This sweeping new tax law, which will have an impact on every taxpayer, will not take effect until 2018 with some provisions extending into 2019 and beyond. Tax laws for your 2017 returns are pretty similar to the last several years so please continue to use the tax preparation list to organize your materials
Very importantly, I want to let you know that I strongly urge you to drop off your tax information this year. Although my health status has remained stable, I must continue to avoid exposure to the general population during the flu season. Working from home enables me to work longer hours and, quite honestly, devote more time to your tax concerns
To be sure that ample time is available for not only the preparation of your 2017 tax returns, but also to forecast what lies ahead for 2018 and beyond, we will not be accepting new clients for the time being. Our goal is to help our existing clients transition into the many tax law changes occurring over the next few years.
HEALTH INSURANCE: Regarding health insurance reporting requirements, if you received your health insurance through the Marketplace you will be receiving a Form 1095-A. Those getting coverage through an employer-sponsored plan, private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid should receive Form 1095-B or 1095-C. It is imperative that you include these documents with your tax information.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the penalty for not having health insurance has increased to the higher of $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (up to $2,085 for a family), or it’s 2.5% of your household income above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status – whichever is greater.
MILEAGE RATES. As the price of gas has fallen so has the reimbursable mileage rate. In 2017 mileage rates were 53.5 cents/mile for QUALIFIED work-related travel and 17 cents/mile for moving and medical travel. Mileage reimbursement for charitable activities remains unchanged at 14 cents/mile. In the last couple of years Pennsylvania has often required taxpayers to send in mileage logs as well as other unreimbursed expense receipts before issuing refunds. Please include your mileage log with your other tax information. We can provide you with a spreadsheet to complete this information if you call our office.
ELECTRONIC FILING. Because I prepare more than 10 tax returns each year, the IRS requires that I electronically file all returns that I prepare. As the taxpayer, you may choose to opt-out of this filing method but I must prepare Form 8948 and attach it to the paper return before mailing it. Since most of you are familiar with the e-file procedure, I want to remind you to review your return and verify your banking information with us before signing the signature pages.
E-MAIL. Please provide us with your email address. This has become an invaluable method of communicating with clients. You will find all our office email addresses at the top of this letter.
PAYMENTS. We now accept all major credit cards as payment for our services. Payment must be received before we provide you with your return. This can be done over the phone if you want your return mailed to you.
P.S. For those of you who have enjoyed my jokes over the years, I wanted to let you know I entered 10 puns in a pun contest hoping one would win, but no pun in ten did!