The biggest issue that taxpayers and tax professionals will have to work with this year is the ACA or the Affordable Care Act and the ability for the government to establish a tax for people who do not have health insurance that meet their set standards.

If you have gotten insurance through a Marketplace, you will get a form 1095-A from that particular Marketplace. We MUST have that form in order to complete your taxes.

If you have private insurance or insurance through your employer, you may get a form 1095-B or 1095-C. These forms are optional for this tax year; however, if you have received one of these forms please bring it along.

If you are covered under a private insurance policy or a policy through your employer and did not receive one of the above mentioned forms, please make sure to bring the insurance cards of all family members with you to your appointment. If you are dropping your taxes off, we will make copies of the cards for our records.

If you are exempted from the minimum essential coverage, please make sure to apply for your exemption number at least a month before your return is to be prepared. You can find the application at https://www.healthcare.gov/, under apply for an exemption and we will have copies of the applications in our office. We will do our best to help answer questions along the way and minimize costs on all sides.

You need to know also that more firms/companies that reimburse workers for health insurance can owe a stiff tax, according to the new IRS guidance. Many small companies have set up plans to reimburse premiums paid by employees for individual policies or for coverage bought on an exchange. Earlier this year, the IRS said that if these arrangements are done on a pretax basis, they violate the health reform law and likely trigger a $100-a-day tax per worker. See us for some solutions on structuring accounting and pay to be compliant!

With updates coming out of the ACA more frequently as the system gets closer to going active, we at Sterling Financials will keep you in the loop!

It’s Your Money 07/22/13

Marc Sterling and Chapin Fisher discuss small businesses on the KAZM Radio show “It’s Your Money”.
Link: Sterling Financial_07-22-13



Paying for care for your child or disable loved on so that you can work?  Uncle Sam wants to help…

If you’ve been paying for someone to take care of your child or a disabled loved one while you work, you might qualify for a federal tax credit.  The Federal Tax Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses is designed to help people like you cover the costs of outside care for children and certain dependent adults.

To qualify, the person must have lived with you for more than half of 2011, be a child age 12 or younger, or, be an adult who is physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.  In addition, you – or your spouse if filing jointly – must have earned income during the year and/or been a full-time student, and the care must have been provided by someone who is not your spouse or a dependent.

If your child or loved one qualifies for the credit, you could claim up to $3,000 of expenses paid for one person or up to $6,000 for two or more individuals.

With the cost of care what it is today, a credit like this can go a long way towards easing the financial burden.  If you think you might qualify, give us a call we’ll see what we can help you save!





IRS Provides A Better Way to Check if Your Donations are Qualified!

The IRS has recently added a new online search tool so people can better check if the tax-exempt organizations they donate to are really eligible to receive charitable donations.

It used to be that finding out whether a tax-exempt organization was in good standing was a bit of a crapshoot, as the relevant information can be easily implied by the organization to entice donations that aren’t qualified as taxable deductions.  The danger of this state of affairs, of course, was that your donations to the no-longer-tax-exempt organization in question could not be used as a deduction to offset your income!  Talk about a bad surprise come tax (or audit) day!

But now, with the IRS’s EO Select Tool, uncertainty or assumptions are a thing of the past.  With EO Select, individuals and organizations can check to see if an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations (and you are able to properly deduct them) along with a whole host of other info about the organization’s standing as far as the government is concerned.

So rest your uncertainty, grab your mouse, head to http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/ and get those donation checks ready!


Tax Time Approaches!!! Need Help?


Tax Time Approaches!!!  Need Help?

It is getting to be that time of year (yippee).  Are you prepared?  We have the tools to accurately and timely prepare all business and personal tax returns.  With most all business returns due March 15, businesses everywhere are crunching numbers and preparing all of the year-end filings from W-2s and 1099s to annual and quarterly payroll reports.   Let us know if you need any help!

Also, for Sterling clients who don’t use accounting software such as QuickBooks, we have a personalized and formulized spreadsheet for all of your business income and expenses.  All you have to do is enter the individual amounts and it will summarize everything by category and put it into a profit and loss format for analysis and tax return preparation.  It sure beats burning out that calculator!

On the individual side, once you receive all of your year-end tax forms and get your information organized, stop on by or let us know – the earlier the better, because April 17th (Yes, it is the 17th this year) will come sooner than you think!  We will be glad to answer any questions you might have before, during, and after the preparation.  Additionally, if you need help getting organized, you can download a blank tax organizer from our website.  If you are a current client, we can also resend you an electronic or paper organizer with prior year amounts and items in it for comparison and to make sure you didn’t leave anything out!  If you are not a current client, come on in for a free consultation.

See or talk to you soon!  Is anyone getting excited like we are?