Welcome to The Shaw Atlas, the monthly newsletter from Shaw & Associates, CPAs & Financial Advisors. We look forward to keeping you abreast of ever-changing tax codes, providing you with money saving accounting tips and illustrating proactive strategies to help you achieve the financial life you envision.
Kevin Shaw, CPA, CEO
From January 1st through April 15th we are obviously extremely busy preparing tax returns. During this time we have invited several different experts to provide guest articles that we believe will be both interesting and informative for you. Our first guest is Tim Herbert from Sage Benefit Advisors with a very timely article about the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act
Health Insurance & Your Taxes
Tim Herbert, Sage Benefit Advisors
Starting January 1, 2014 all Americans are now required to either purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. The penalty for neglecting to obtain health insurance coverage in 2014 was either $95 per person or 1% of your household income, whichever is greater. For 2015 the penalty increases to either $325 per person or 2% of your household income, whichever is greater. In 2016, the penalty will be $695 per person or 2.5% of your household income.
If you do not have health insurance currently, you will need to sign up by February 15, 2015 to avoid having to pay the penalty for all of 2015. With the new open enrollment window in place, if you don’t have health insurance by February 15, 2015 you will not be able to purchase an ACA compliant policy until the next open enrollment period beginning on October 1, 2015 for a January 1, 2016 effective date. The exception to this rule is if you have a “special enrollment period” which is a 60 day period of time outside of open enrollment where you and your family have the right to sign up for health insurance if you experience certain life events (for example: marriage, birth of a child, or loss of other health coverage).
Your tax return this year will be a bit lengthier due to the new requirements of the ACA. If you purchased health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, you will receive a 1095 Form the first week of February that will need to be submitted with your taxes. This form will tell you what your premium subsidy (tax credit) was for 2014. Shaw and Associates will use this information to complete the new 8962 form showing you purchased health insurance for 2014 in order to avoid having to pay a penalty. This form will also show any over or under payment you may have made on your health insurance. This may result in an additional payment due or a refund on your tax return.
Health insurance is rapidly changing, as is the tax code. For your tax needs, turn to Shaw & Associates for their expert advice. For health insurance, turn to Sage Benefit Advisors in Fort Collins. Sage is a leading agency in the health insurance industry, with a full staff of health insurance professionals specializing in both individual and group health insurance policies. Sage is owned by Tim Hebert who is certified in the health bill and on the advisory boards of Connect for Health, Anthem and Kaiser. You can see Tim quoted in publications including National Public Radio (NPR) and The New York Times. You can contact Tim or the Sage team of professionals at 970-484-1250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every month we will post a trivia question in our newsletter to give our readers a chance to win great prizes.
This month we will be giving away a date night to one lucky client. The winner will receive two ticket vouchers to attend a production at the Open Stage Theatre and one $100 gift certificate to Blue Agave Grill in Old Town Fort Collins.
This month’s Tax Trivia question is:
“Before the income tax, the government often put new excise taxes into effect in order to raise revenue during times of crisis. Many taxed items were considered luxury items. What item was first taxed as a luxury in 1898, at the start of the Spanish-American War and continues to be taxed today?”
In order to be entered to win the drawing, please submit your answer to the question on one of our social media outlets. Post a wall message on our Facebook page, tweet @CPAShaw to our Twitter page, or comment on the Trivia Post on our LinkedIn page.
Featured Restaurant-Blue Agave Grill
Blue Agave Grill is a full service restaurant serving a contemporary southwestern cuisine with a full service bar. They have a large margarita selection as well as house infused tequilas, and homemade sangria. They also have an outdoor seating accompanied by fire pits that surrounds the historic art museum in Old Town Fort, Collins CO.
For a full menu and more information about Blue Agave Grill, visit their website at: www.blueagavegrillcolorado.com
Client Spotlight-A-Train Marketing
Celebrating 16 years in Fort Collins, A-Train Marketing Communications, Inc. is a full-service marketing firm that specializes in branding, messaging, marketing strategy, graphic design, web and digital, social media, video, and advertising services across a diverse range of industries including agriculture, biopharma, environmental services, mental health, non-profit, B2C, and more.
Avoid insanity – check out this infographic to learn why it’s not such a good idea tackle your own taxes and marketing.
The team behind A-Train cherishes the commitment we share with Shaw & Associates to drive results for their clients. Shaw & Associates truly lives by its brand promise, and that’s something that A-Train can get behind. Learn how to live your brand promise – visit A-Train online.