Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Affordable Care Act – Individuals

New IRS Publication Helps You Find out if You Qualify for a Health Coverage Exemption
Taxpayers who might qualify for an exemption from having qualifying health coverage and making a payment should review a new IRS publication for information about these exemptions. Publication 5172, Health Coverage Exemptions, which includes information about how you get an exemption, is available on

The Affordable Care Act calls for each individual to have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, have an exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing his or her federal income tax return.

You may be exempt if you:
  • Have no affordable coverage options because the minimum amount you must pay for the annual premiums is more than eight percent of your household income,
  • Have a gap in coverage for less than three consecutive months, or
  • Qualify for an exemption for one of several other reasons, including having a hardship that prevents you from obtaining coverage or belonging to a group explicitly exempt from the requirement.
On, you can find a comprehensive list of the coverage exemptions.
How you get an exemption depends upon the type of exemption. You can obtain some exemptions only from the Marketplace in the area where you live, others only from the IRS when you file your income tax return, and others from either the Marketplace or the IRS.

Additional information about exemptions is available on the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision web page on The page includes a link to a chart that shows the types of exemptions available and how to claim them. For additional information about how to get exemptions that may be granted by the Marketplace, visit

IRS Warns Financial Institutions of Scams Designed to Steal FATCA-Related Account Data

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a fraud alert for international financial institutions complying with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).  Scam artists posing as the IRS have fraudulently solicited financial institutions seeking account holder identity and financial account information.

The IRS does not require financial institutions to provide specific account holder identity information or financial account information over the phone or by fax or email.  Further, the IRS does not solicit FATCA registration passwords or similar confidential account access information.

“Tax scams using the IRS name can take many forms and they are not limited by national borders,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  “People should always be cautious before sending sensitive information to anyone.”

Financial institutions directly registered to comply with FATCA and those in jurisdictions that are treated as having in effect intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to implement FATCA through intergovernmental cooperation have been approached by persons representing themselves as the IRS.  The IRS has reports of incidents from multiple countries and continents.

These fraudulent solicitations are known as “phishing” scams.  These types of scams are typically carried out through the use of unsolicited emails and/or websites that pose as legitimate contacts in order to deceptively obtain personal or financial information.

Financial institutions or their representatives that suspect they are the subject of a “phishing” scam should report the matter to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484, or through TIGTA’s secure website.  Any suspicious emails that contain attachments or links in the message should not be opened, and the email should be forwarded to

More information on prior alerts and scams can be found on

Friday, September 12, 2014

Improving Job Opportunities for People With Disabilities

More than $8.4 million will be directed toward improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, the department announced on Sept. 11. "Individuals with disabilities have skills and experiences that employers need," Secretary Perez said. "These federal grants will help connect these workers with employers and put them on the path to economic self-sufficiency." Recipients of the grants include eight organizations participating in the Add Us In initiative, the West Virginia University Research Corp., the Institute for Educational Leadership, the National Disability Institute, and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. The grant recipients were announced by the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

New Reporting Requirements for Fatalities and Severe Injuries

All work-related hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye will have to be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to a final rule taking effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Under the newly revised rule, employers under federal OSHA's jurisdiction will be expected to report any fatality to OSHA within 8 hours, and any in-patient hospitalization, amputation or enucleation within 24 hours. Previously, employers were required only to report fatalities, and when three or more workers were hospitalized. Though all employers will have to adhere to the new reporting requirements for fatalities and severe injuries, the rule also updates the list of industries partially exempt from routinely keeping injury and illness logs. The new rule will help OSHA focus compliance assistance and enforcement resources to better protect workers and prevent more workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

Moving Can Affect Your Premium Tax Credit

If you moved recently, you’ve probably notified the U.S. Postal Service, utility companies, financial institutions and employers of your new address.  If you get health insurance coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace, the IRS reminds you about one more important notification to add to your list – the Marketplace.

If you are receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit, it is particularly important that you report changes in circumstances, including moving, to the Marketplace. There’s a simple reason. Reporting your move lets the Marketplace update the information used to determine your eligibility for a Marketplace plan, which may affect the appropriate amount of advance payments of the premium tax credit that the government sends to your health insurer on your behalf.

Reporting the changes will help you avoid having too much or not enough premium assistance paid to reduce your monthly health insurance premiums. Getting too much premium assistance means you may owe additional money or get a smaller refund when you file your taxes. On the other hand, getting too little could mean missing out on monthly premium assistance that you deserve.

Changes in circumstances that you should report to the Marketplace include, but are not limited to:
  • an increase or decrease in your income
  • marriage or divorce
  • the birth or adoption of a child
  • starting a job with health insurance
  • gaining or losing your eligibility for other health care coverage
Many of these changes in circumstances – including moving out of the area served by your current Marketplace plan – qualify you for a special enrollment period to change or get insurance through the Marketplace. In most cases, if you qualify for the special enrollment period, you will have sixty days to enroll following the change in circumstances. You can find information about special enrollment periods at

More Information

Find out more about the health care law, the premium tax credit and the individual shared responsibility provision at

Find out more about the Health Insurance Marketplace at, or by calling (800) 318-2596.