2017 Taxes - Are You Prepared?
Make Sure Your Health Coverage is in Order
Do you know what you need to report to the IRS about your health insurance? As you probably already know, you and your family are required to have minimum essential coverage, or qualify for an exemption. If you don’t, you will be charged a penalty that goes beyond pocket change. If you were not covered, you may need to fill out quite a bit of extra paperwork to see if you qualify for Health Coverage Exemptions, or Premium Tax Credit.
Be Generous, But Careful
It’s wonderful if you have been charitable to friends and family, but hopefully you were cautious about financial gifts. The IRS requires that you file a gift tax return whenever you give someone more than $14,000 in cash, property, or gifts. The annual exclusion for gifts changes every few years, so make sure you are in the clear and don’t have to report any of your generosity.
Prevent Identity Theft
Your Identity Protection PIN needs to be provided on your tax return. Make sure you know the number, and submit it so the IRS will accept your return. The number is meant to protect any fraudulent returns from being filed under your Social Security Number. The number changes every year, so be sure to go to the IRS website to retrieve it before you file.
EITC is Your Friend
Many people forget to claim the earned income tax credit. In 2016 the limit of earned income to qualify for EITC was $53, 505. If you worked and earned less than that, you don’t want to miss out on this credit. The IRS reports that one out of every five workers forgets all about the EITC. There is an EITC Assistant tool on the IRS website to help you determine your eligibility.