When to Notify the Healthcare Marketplace

When to Notify the Healthcare MarketplaceAvoid a Premium Tax Credit bill at the end of 2014

For the millions who now use the Healthcare Marketplace to purchase their health insurance, it is important to keep your information with them up to date. Not only does this help ensure you have the proper health insurance coverage, but it also ensures your healthcare Premium Tax Credit is properly applied.

Per the IRS, here is a list of changes in circumstance that can impact the value of your Premium Tax Credit amount:
Bullet warning getting married,
Bullet warning the birth or adoption of a child,
Bullet warning divorce,
Bullet warning getting a new job,
Bullet warning losing a job,
Bullet warning moving,
Bullet warning changes in eligibility for employer or government sponsored health care coverage,
Bullet warning ANYTHING that impacts family size or composition,
Bullet warning ANYTHING that impacts your family income.

Make Lists: Save Money

Making Lists That Save MoneyMaking a list and checking it twice. Santa uses this idea to discover who is naughty and nice. You too can use this simple idea to keep more hard earned money in your pocket.

Checklist item Make a shopping list. Whenever you go shopping, whether it be for back to school supplies or groceries, making a list before you go can save money. Not only will it help reduce the purchase of unneeded items, it will also save in gas as you are less likely to forget something you need.
Checklist item Make a wish list. Use this technique to identify large purchases. Once you create the list, put a priority next to the item and then sort the items in order of priority. When your savings allow, you will then be spending money on something you and your family have already discussed. You will also be in a better position to purchase a prioritized item when it is on sale.
Checklist item Make a destination list. Where would you like to go on vacation? Where would you like to retire? Create these lists and you not only have something to look forward to, but you can also start planning to make these destination goals a reality.
Checklist item Make a charity list. How often have you given money to a charity based upon who calls you? It is hard to say no to any worthy charity. By targeting charities ahead of time you can ensure your limited funds go to causes that mean the most to you. When someone not on your charity list calls, tell them you give generously to budgeted charities once a year. Let them know you will gladly place them on your list for consideration during your next funding period.
Checklist item Make a list of meals. Want to eat healthier? Want to save money by eating out less often? Create a menu and the related list of ingredients to make meals that are good for you and that are ready to go when you are.
Checklist item Make a list of gifts. A simple idea to save money is to purchase gifts when the gift item is on sale, versus when you need to purchase the gift. Then keep a list of the gift items you purchase and use the list to source your needed gifts when the event arrives. The gifts on your list need to have broad appeal to make this idea work. Target gifts like baby items, popular books, every-day wedding gift ideas, and gifts on wish lists from your family.
Checklist item Make a maintenance list. A great way to save money on repairs is to create a household maintenance checklist. From auto tune-ups to furnace filter replacement, staying ahead of these little things can help avoid major repairs due to forgotten maintenance.

IRS Telephone Scams on The Rise

90,000 complaints received regarding tax related telephone scams

Over $5 million in reported
taxpayer losses

Thieves are more sophisticated by using fake IRS caller IDs

In a recent announcement, the IRS cautions that the use of impersonating the IRS as a means to steal your identity and your money is on the rise. While this scam is not a new one, the IRS warns us of a growing trend in this form of theft.

The new practice of thievery

The use of the telephone to imitate an employee of the IRS is becoming more sophisticated.

Bullet warning Spoofing caller ID. New telemarketing scams provide caller ID to make it seem that the IRS is calling you.
Bullet warning Use of threats. These new thieves are using threats to get you to pay them. The threats include loss of your drivers license and even jail time if payment is not made.
Bullet warning Angry tone. Often those masquerading as government employees use anger and intimidation to get your information. While this may play into your perception of the IRS, in reality the IRS does not communicate in this fashion.
Bullet warning Giving information. These new thieves demand pre-paid debit card or credit card information. They may also demand confirmation of other personal information.

What you need to know

The IRS reminds us that initial contact on tax questions occurs through the mail, not via email or telephone. If you receive a call, do not provide any information to the caller. Instead, per the IRS, here is what you should do.

Bullet success If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
Bullet success If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484.
Bullet success If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.