Tax Issues for Working Nevada Families. William S. Boyd School of Law & Nevada Legal Services

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1 Tax Issues for Working Nevada Families William S. Boyd School of Law & Nevada Legal Services

2 HELP!

3 Nevada Legal Services Low Income Taxpayer Clinic ( LITC ) at (toll free) or To be eligible for LITC representation, a person must: be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident, victim of domestic violence, victim of trafficking, or have a U visa; and have income of 250% or less of the federal poverty level (the poverty level depends on the size of the household). freefile.irs.gov (FREE online tax services) VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance): Free oneon one tax preparation assistance and filing

4 Filing Status Matters Must be accurate and depends upon legal marital status as of December 31, 2014: If married (opposite or same sex, but not registered domestic partnerships) then must use Married filing jointly: each spouse is responsible for the entire amount but potential relief under innocent spouse rules use in year of spouse s death and for two following years if your child lives with you for tax year Married filing separately: you can t claim earned income tax credit (EITC) or education credits, and Social Security income may be taxed more.

5 Not Married Filing Statuses Head of Household: must be unmarried or abandoned spouse (child lives with you for more than ½ a year and don t live with spouse for last ½ a year must provide over ½ support for household that s your and your qualifying child s principal residence Single

6 A qualifying dependent provides a deduction and may provide other tax benefits (including the child tax credit (CTC), the earned income tax credit (EITC), and the head of household filing status) Every qualifying dependent must have a taxpayer identification number (SSN or ITIN) and be a US citizen or a US, Canadian, or Mexican resident. A qualifying dependent can be a qualifying child or a qualifying relative.

7 Relationship: Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, adopted child, brother, sister or a descendant of any such relative Age: Under the age of 19 (If not a student) Under the age of 24 (If a full time student for at least 5 calendar months) Residency: Child must have lived with you for more than half of the year Support: The child cannot have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year

8 If more than one person can claim a qualifying child, the child will be considered the qualifying child of: 1) the parent; 2) if both parents can claim the child, the one with whom the child lived for longer during the year; 3) if no taxpayer is the child s parent, the taxpayer with the highest adjusted gross income.

9 cannot be a qualifying child BROAD definition of relative (includes ancestors, siblings, and descendants) and can be any age If not a relative the person must live with you for ENTIRE YEAR Unlike qualifying child, a qualifying relative must make less than $3,950 in gross income Taxpayer must provide more than half of the qualifying relative s total support Support includes: food, lodging, clothing, education, medical expenses, transportation

10 WHAT IS THE CREDIT? An important tax credit that helps working families reduce the cost of raising children Maximum amount of credit is $1,000 per qualifying child HOW DOES IT WORK? Eligible taxpayers subtract the credit amount from the total amount of federal income taxes they owe WHAT IF I DON T OWE TAXES? The credit amount is refundable up to 15% of income above $3,000 As a result, if the credit amount exceeds the taxes owed, the family may receive all or part of the difference in a refund check (this is the Additional Child Tax Credit)

11 MUST HAVE QUALIFYING CHILD 1. AGE: Child must have been under 17 at the end of RELATIONSHIP: Son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister or descendant of any of these persons 3. SUPPORT: Child did not provide over half of his/her own support for DEPENDANT: You must claim the child as a dependent on your tax return (who did not file a joint tax return for 2014) 5. CITIZENSHIP: The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien 6. RESIDENCE: Child must have lived with you for more than half 2014

12 Child Tax Credit Facts 1. Phase Out: The credit is limited if your income is above a certain amount. This amount depends on your filing status. Married Taxpayers (filing jointly): From $110,000 MAGI Married Taxpayers (filing separately): From $55,000 MAGI All other Taxpayers : From $75,000 MAGI 2. Mixed Status Families: Available to qualifying families who do not qualify for a SSN (but qualifying children must have an ITIN or a SSN) 3. Other Credits: May be added to the earned income tax credit 4. Forms: Must file Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040NR

13 EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit, Earned Income Credit, EIC) is a refundable tax credit. Meaning, EITC can reduce the federal tax to zero and any unused credit is refunded. But, workers must file a tax return to get the credit even if their income is below the filing requirement. To qualify, workers must have earned income from wages or from running a profitable business.

14 All Working Families Claiming the EITC Must: Have a valid Social Security number Not file as "married filing separate, Have earned income, Not be the qualifying child of another person Generally, be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year.

15 To Claim EITC Without a Qualifying Child, You and Your Spouse (if you File a Joint Return) Must have lived in the United States for more than half of the tax year and have a valid SSN, Either you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) must be at least age 25 but less than age 65 Cannot qualify as the dependent of another person.

16 These tests must be satisfied Relationship A son or daughter (an adopted child or child placed for adoption or step ) Foster child placed by an authorized placement agency or court Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister or descendant of any of them (niece or nephew) Age, at the end of the filing year, the child was: Younger than the worker (or the worker's spouse if married filing jointly) and younger than 19, or, younger than 24 and a full time student Any age if permanently and totally disabled Residency Must live with the worker, or the worker's spouse in the US for > ½ year Joint Return: Married qualifying children can not have filed a joint return Warning: Only one person can claim the same qualifying child for EITC

17 Filing status, income, and family size determine the amount of the EITC. The income amounts and the amount of EITC are adjusted for inflation.

18 FACTS: EARNED INCOME: $23,000 FILING STATUS: Married Filing Jointly with three qualifying children EITC: $6,143 FEDERAL TAX OWED: The family has $0 federal tax liability. REFUND: $3,000 Child Tax Credit + $6,143 EITC $9,143 Refund Amount **Plus all federal withholdings.**

19 PREMIUM TAX CREDIT What is it? The premium tax credit is a tax credit designed to help eligible individuals and families with low or moderate income afford health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Exchange. ADVANCEABLE -You can choose to have the credit paid in advance to your insurance company to lower what you pay for your monthly premiums. -OR- REFUNDABLE - you can claim all of the credit when you file your tax return for the year.

20 PREMIUM TAX CREDIT Who can claim it? You are eligible for the premium tax credit if you meet ALL of the following requirements: Purchase coverage through the Marketplace. Have household income that falls within a certain range. Are not able to get affordable coverage through an eligible employer plan. Are not eligible for coverage through a government program, like Medicaid, Medicare. Do not file a Married Filing Separately tax return (exception: certain victims of domestic abuse and spousal abandonment). Cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person.

21 PREMIUM TAX CREDIT How do I claim it? If you had advance credit payments sent to your insurer in 2014, you must file a federal income tax return, even if not required to file and you must complete Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit. If you enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace but didn t get the advance credit payments during 2014, if eligible, you may claim the premium tax credit when you file your return. You can use the IRS interactive tool, Am I eligible to claim the Premium Tax Credit?, to find out if you are eligible. If you purchased coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace you should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement from your Marketplace. This form provides information you will need when completing Form If you have questions about the information, or about receiving Form 1095-A, you should contact your Marketplace directly.

22 PREMIUM TAX CREDIT What else should I know about it? Change in Circumstances Report income and family size changes to the Marketplace throughout the year. Reporting changes will help make sure you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance and will help you avoid getting too much or too little in advance. NATIONAL MARKETPLACE - NEVADA - The IRS Has Many User Friendly Materials Online at IRS.gov Pub 5120: Your Credit, Your Choice Get it Now or Get it Later Pub 5121: Need help paying for health insurance premiums? Pub 5152: Report changes to the Marketplace as they happen

23 2014 tax year is SRP s first year of existence Part of recently enacted Affordable Care Act Every U.S. citizen or legal resident is required to have minimum essential healthcare coverage No coverage = $$$ penalty!!!

24 Qualifying coverage includes: From employer, government, private marketplace, etc. Qualifying coverage does not include: Vision care Dental care Other limited coverage Workers compensation

25 Awareness of SRP among the uninsured is low As many as 6 million persons will have to pay the penalty on 2014 tax returns

26 On 2014 tax return, you must affirmatively state that you had health insurance during 2014 If no health insurance during 2014, you must pay a penalty

27 Exception: If you qualify for an exemption from having health insurance during 2014, you do not have to pay the penalty Exemptions (state on form 8965): Undocumented persons Income below filing threshold (but you file anyways to get a refund) Financial hardship (cost of insurance exceeds 8% of household income) Lacked coverage for only 3 consecutive months or less Members of certain Indian tribes In jail or similar correctional facility Certain religious sects

28 2014 penalties: Adults: $95 Children (under 18): $47.50 Family cap: $298 A computation dealing with household income could make the penalty higher 2015 and 2016 penalties: Go up dramatically each year

29 Bottom line: GET HEALTH INSURANCE!!! Government healthcare insurance enrollment ended February 15 However, if you were subject to the SRP, enrollment will open again March 15 to April 30

30 To qualify to enroll from March 15 to April 30, you must: Currently not have health insurance; Have already filed your 2014 tax return; Have paid the penalty; and Attest that you first learned of the penalty after February 15

31 Recap: If citizen or legal resident, you must have qualifying health insurance or you pay a penalty Or, qualify for exemption Penalties start off low (for many $298 family cap) and will go up dramatically You might qualify for government healthcare enrollment from March 15 to April 30

32 Questions?

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