INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - You will be pleased to learn that IRS is really worked up over identity theft issues, and for 2013, has significantly increased the number and quality of identity theft screening filters which spot fraudulent tax returns - which claim refunds, of course. Indeed, we hear several hundred investigations have commenced since October. IRS has also expanded a pilot program "that allows local enforcement agencies in nine states to obtain tax return data that helps IRS investigate and pursue identity thieves."
Even more - IRS is "collaborating with more than 130 financial institutions to identify identity theft fraud schemes and block refunds from reaching the hands" of the bad guys.
Check out the IRS website (www.irs.gov) for more info - specifically two Fact Sheets on the subject: FS-2013-2 and FS-2013-3.
And if you keep wondering when your health insurance premiums will go down (like Obama promised), you can stop holding your breath.
Info from the Revenooers, released last week, says that under "Obamacare," the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost something like 20 grand per year! They even give examples of various scenarios - relative to theoretical families of four and five, both of which IRS thinks will be paying at least $20,000 per year for a "bronze" plan - the cheapie!
On the other hand, IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year which chooses not to buy insurance will instead be required to pay a penalty of a mere $2,400.
So why buy the darned insurance (until you actually get sick, which we understand is permitted)?
We don't know what you're paying now - we do know what we're paying, and we do recall Obama's promise that the typical family would realize a savings of about $2,500 per year when all of the wonderful government-overseen health care rules were in place.
Which reminds us - another of the Obamacare rules requires employers to show, on each employee's Form W-2, the cost of health insurance coverage which the employer provided for the year. That amount isn't includible in the taxable wage base (at least not yet), but IRS says the reason for this disclosure is "for informational purposes only, to show employees the value of their health care benefits, so they can be more informed consumers" (emphasis added).
How nice of the government to be so concerned that all of us be so well-informed.
- CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR - This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He may be reached at 775-831-7288, welcomes comments at email@example.com, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.