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Kiplinger Tax Letter Excerpts

Posted by Predovich & Company

Health Care Reform

A key part of health reform takes effect Jan. 1:  Individuals without insurance will owe a tax.  Although the Obama administration delayed to 2015 the rule that firms with 50 or more full-time employees must provide affordable heath insurance to workers or pay a stiff fine, the individual mandate's start date wasn't deferred, despite a push for this by the GOP.  Now IRS has issued rules on when this tax applies.

Folks must have minimum essential coverage for themselves and their dependents to avoid the tax.  This includes coverage provided by an employer that meets federal requirements, coverage purchased through an exchange and federal coverage such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and veterans coverage.

Foreign Bank Accounts

It's going to get even harder to keep IRS from learning about foreign accounts, now that the Justice Dept. and the government of Switzerland have entered into a pact.  It allows Swiss banks to come forward voluntarily, pay substantial monetary fines, disclose details on accounts held by U.S. persons and comply with other requirements in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution by U.S. authorities.  A key component of the accord requires participating banks to provide information that will help the U.S. follow the money trail to more Swiss banks and to banks in other foreign countries.  Banks currently under criminal investigation can't take part in this amnesty program.

Source:  The Kiplinger Tax Letter 9/13/13 - Vol. 88, No. 19

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