Tax-Related Identity Theft: Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security Number (SSN) to file a tax return to claim a fraudulent refund. Although identity theft affects a small percentage of tax returns, it can delay a taxpayer's refund and have a major impact on the victim's peace of mind.

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2015 Filing Requirements for Certain IRS Information Returns: Penalties Increased

On June 29, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (the Trade Act). The Trade Act significantly increases penalties for failing to file correct information returns or provide correct payee statements.

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Affordable Care Act (ACA) Individual Mandate Reporting Requirements for 2015

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the individual shared responsibility provision, also referred to as the individual mandate, calls for each individual to have minimum essential health coverage (known as minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing his or her federal income tax return. The individual mandate applies to individuals of all ages, including children. Therefore, an adult or married couple who can claim a child or another individual as a dependent for federal income tax purposes is responsible for making the payment if the dependent does not have coverage or an exemption.

The individual mandate became effective on January 1, 2014 and applies again to each month in calendar year 2015. If you and your dependents have minimum essential coverage for each month of 2015, you will indicate that by checking a box on your 2015 federal income tax return. If you qualify for an exemption, you are required to attach a form to your tax return to claim that exemption. If you do not have minimum essential coverage for each month of 2015 and are required to make the individual shared responsibility payment, the payment is calculated and made with your tax return.

2016 Social Security Update

With no cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2016, the maximum taxable wage base for Social Security remains at $118,500.  For retirees under full retirement age, the retirement earnings test exempt amount remains at $15,720.  For every $2 of earnings above this limit, $1 of benefits will be withheld.

Employer Mandate Noncompliance Carries Stiff Penalties

An important reminder with respect to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2015.

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Taxpayers Receiving Identity Verification Letter Should Use

From the IRS:  The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers who receive requests from the IRS to verify their identities that the Identity Verification Service website,, offers the fastest, easiest way to complete the task.

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