Tag Archives: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

8 Tips For Making And Saving Money In 2016

In just a few days, it will be 2016 and we are eager for its arrival. We have some big projects planned for this coming year and we are working hard now to prepare for success. Some of our time is being spent looking for ways to increase our income and reduce our expenses as a family, saving money In 2016.

Increasing your Income in 2016
Who would not want to have more money left over for their budget? If you want to increase your 2016 income a little, now is the best time to plan.

Look over your TurboTax 2015¬†W-4. Recently, my husband had Human Resources send an email to all the employees to remind them there were some withholding changes in North Carolina. It was good for us to be reminded as well, since we have not really looked over our withholding in a while. If you haven’t looked at your Turbo Tax 2013 return in a couple of years, you might want to take a few minutes to look at it. Make sure your retirement benefits, flexible spending plan and health insurance are all correct. Make sure you are are taking advantage of the opportunities available to you to decrease the amount you pay in taxes. It might be time to find a health plan that is more affordable and accommodates your family better. If your employer offers a 401(k) match, make sure you are getting the max amount.

Saving Money In 2016Make some extra money with a hobby. Do you play a musical instrument, handcraft something or enjoy number crunching? Talk to your friends, neighbors and extended family and see if you can teach them a skill or assist them for a little extra money on the side. We have a neighbor that is a very good builder and we bought a cat box from him. It was better than what we found for sale in stores and it was better-built and he got a little extra money from doing something he liked. Everybody won.

Sell your things. As we are tidying up our home in preparation for putting it on the market, we have been downsizing and getting rid of things that we do not really want or have not used in a long time. It really is crazy how much stuff you can accumulate without realizing it. If you sell some of your extra stuff, you can increase the space in your home and accumulate a little extra money. Craigslist and other similar sites make it free and easy to unload your extra stuff.

Saving Money in the New Year

You can make more room in your budget by streamlining your month to month bills and doing some things yourself. Weatherproof your house. You do not need to spend a lot of money on this to make a dent. Make sure there are no drafts or leaks so that you do not drain your wallet dry.

Check out your phone plan. Cell phone bills have gotten expensive for some people. Lots of people just sign a two year contract so they can get the newest iPhone model and do not count up the true cost. Some cell phone companies offer great plans that offer unlimited services for a small portion of the cost of a plan with one of the larger companies. Ting, Republic Wireless and other companies have smartphone plans that cost about $25 per month.

Compare prices on insurance. We halved out insurance a few years ago just by switching companies. Now you can go online to look at plans and compare prices for life, health, home and car insurance. Do not just go with the cheapest plan. Find one that offers the best value, as well.

Skip cable. You probably do not need cable anymore, now that options like Hulu Plus, Netflix and Roku are available. Even if you decide you would rather have cable, you should probably shop around and see if you can find a better deal somewhere else which could split the bundle.

Thoughts on Saving and Making Money for 2016
I talked about a few ways you can increase your savings, but I would love to hear more. What financial goals have you set for 2016? What do you want to achieve in the coming year?

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What Does Obamacare Mean For Your Tax Future?

Obamacare TaxesThe implementation of the Affordable Care Act continues to move forward. Failing to adjust withholding strategies and medical expenditures may result in added tax liability. What do the increased cost of healthcare and decreased deductions mean for you and your family? Here are some of the most significant changes to tax laws under the Affordable Care Act.

Higher Taxes on Investment Income

If you derive a significant percentage of your income from investments, you can expect somewhat higher taxes for the 2013 fiscal year. This typically applies to individuals who earn more than $200,000 and married couples who make over $250,000 jointly. Most other investors and taxpayers will see little or no change in the rate of taxation for their income-producing investments.

Upper Income Brackets Will See Medicare Tax Increases

Payroll taxes are often overlooked by individuals when considering their overall tax liability. Since these taxes are taken out of paychecks before workers receive them, changes in these rates can easily go unnoticed. However, couples who earn more than $250,000 jointly may get an unpleasant surprise at tax time: An increase in Medicare hospital taxes of nearly one percent may not be withheld by employers who are unaware of the joint income levels of the married couple. High-earning married couples may be responsible for any amount due that is not withheld as payroll taxes.

Reduced Deduction Percentages for Medical Expenses

Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, individuals could deduct their medical expenses if those expenses reached 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. That figure has now risen to 10 percent, reducing the availability of these deductions for rich and poor alike.

Changes to Flexible Spending Accounts

For 2013, only the first $2,500 deposited into flexible spending accounts (FSAs) will be tax-free. All other deposits will be liable to the regular tax rates applied to other earned income. As a result, many firms are now implementing limits of $2,500 on FSAs to eliminate the need for specialized W-2 forms and to protect their employees against potential financial liabilities when tax time rolls around once more.

New Taxes on Durable Medical Goods and Devices

The Affordable Care Act requires a new excise tax on medical devices including braces, gloves, pacemakers, nebulizers and many other items of medical equipment. While this new tax will not affect patients directly, it is likely to increase the costs of these items and may shift a greater percentage of the financial burden for advanced systems to the private individual as medical supply companies adjust their rates to make up for these added costs.

What You Can Do

Making the necessary changes to withholding, FSA contributions and other healthcare-related activities can help consumers manage the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act and can provide an added level of defense against increased taxes and reduced services in the medical arena. Make sure you consult with experienced and qualified tax experts who can advise you on the latest tax-related changes and help you navigate them.

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Turbo Tax launching an Online ACA Calculator

Turbo Tax launching an Online ACA Calculator

Turbo Tax 2014 is set to launch new online calculators. These calculators are meant for the calculation of subsidies that you are entitled to when you get insurance cover as well as how much premium you are supposed to pay. The new insurance plans have been made possible by the Affordable Care Act that allows low income earners to get health care by paying low premiums.

Turbo Tax launching an Online ACA Calculator

A CNN poll conducted in March of 2010Citation needed, days after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law found nearly 3 in 5 Americans were opposed to the legislationClarify. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are four categories that are offered by the insurance exchanges. You will get various types of benefits depending on the coverage that you choose and your income level. They include; gold plans, silver plans and catastrophic plans that are offered to the low income earner below the age of 30.

How the Turbo Tax 2014 Calculator Works

The Turbo Tax 2014 calculator is user friendly in its design. There are various settings and inputs on the left and to the right there are running totals. The particulars input on the left side determine two things; how much you will have to pay or the tax refund you will get.

There are various details required to be entered in the Turbo Tax 2014 calculators in order to determine the eligibility for subsidy. The personal information includes:

– Annual income;
– State of residence;
-ZIP code
– Whether your employer pays insurance

By entering your information on the left side, you are able to find out what is the best plan for your tax situation. Should you choose to do this manually, it would take a longer time. Therefore, the Turbo Tax 2014 assists in speeding up the process of selecting a decent plan that will not cost you too much in the first couple of years or participating.

The government study that preceded the launch of the Affordable Care Act determined that 90% of those who are above the federal level of poverty are able to pay higher premiums. However, the subsidies only apply to those who do not have health insurance through their employer. Therefore, when filling in your particulars, if you fill in that you receive health insurance on the left side of the 2014 calculator; it means it will not display any subsidy on the right side of the results. It will only display the amount of premiums you are meant to pay.

In case your income is between 133%-399% of the poverty level, then the calculator will show you that your premiums may be at 3%-9.5% of gross income. Anything less than 133% would mean that you get medicaid coverage and therefore do not need to purchase a plan.

You need to note that there is a chance that you may need to include some of your income in the health care calculation. This is because a normal low income house hold spends at least 75% of their income on home expenses. This is why there needs to be some changes in the act in order to accommodate those who are in the low income level of society and give them more in terms of subsidy and less in terms of payment of premiums. Exempting unions and those in congress just isn’t enough of a government benefit for certain parties in the government. This is still under discussion as the rates are not satisfactory to the low income earners who use most of their income for expenses at home.

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