Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the House Ways and Means Committee on March 12 that the Obama administration has no plans to delay the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate or its tax penalty for those who fail to enroll in coverage by the end of March. As of February 25, 2014, the Marketplaces had enrolled four-million individuals. “New premium tax credits and rules ensuring fair premium rates are making private coverage more affordable for consumers,” Sebelius told lawmakers. Sebelius also announced that those individuals who have faced a delayed enrollment period in the health exchanges through no fault of their own would still be eligible for the premium tax credit. Check out Healthcare.gov for more information on enrollment.
In a recent CNN interview, NSTP member Isaac McRae, EA addressed the issue of newlyweds and their tax filing status. “Marriage is defined by your filing status at the end of the year,” said licensed tax practitioner Isaac McRae. “You have the option of married filing jointly, or married filing separately, which is much different from filing as a single individual, or head of household individual.” Click here for the complete interview.
As expected the IRS did not prevail in its appeal of the Loving Et Al v Internal Revenue Service court case. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia handed down its ruling on February 11, 2014. The court found that the IRS did not have the authority to require testing or continuing education. The court considered the six factors offered by the IRS and found fault with all six. The court’s conclusion, “In our judgment, the traditional tools of statutory interpretation – including the statute’s text, history, structure, and context – foreclose and render unreasonable the IRS’s interpretation of Section 330,” pretty much wrapped up their sentiments on the entire case presented by the IRS. Attached is a .pdf copy of the Court’s Decision
IRS REPORT ON TAX FILINGS FOR 2014: The IRS has reported that the filings for 2014 have outpaced the filings for the same period in 2013. The start of tax season was delayed in both years, starting January 30th in 2013 due to the late extender bill and opening on January 31st of this year due to the two week government shutdown in October. Cumulative statistics comparing 2/8/13 and 2/7/14 Individual Income Tax Returns: 2013 2014 % Change Total Receipts 26,589,000 27,249,000 2.5 Total Processed 18,811,000 26,945,000 43.2 E-filing Receipts: TOTAL 25,121,000 26,081,000 3.8 Tax Professionals 13,456,000 12,699,000 -5.6 Self-prepared 11,665,000 13,382,000 14.7 Web Usage: Visits to IRS.gov 90,706,865 89,683,640 -1.1 Total Refunds: Number 16,424,000 19,459,000 18.5 Amount $52.059 billion $64.546 billion 24 Average refund $3,170 $3,317 4.6 Direct Deposit Refunds: Number 15,457,000 16,976,000 9.8 Amount $50.214 billion $55.815 billion 11.2 Average refund $3,249 $3,288 1.2