A significant benefit of the Affordable Care Act is the opportunity to receive money-saving tax credits up front to cut the overall cost of health insurance, but now hundreds of thousands of consumers could owe back some of that money next April.
Those affected took advance payments of the premium tax credit for health insurance. Some married couples could owe $600 or $1,500 or $2,500 or even more. It might feel like a raw deal for some who are already suffocating under the escalating costs of health insurance.
"Health insurance is confusing enough, and now they’re adding the complexities of the Tax Code," said Lorena Bencsik, a member of the Michigan Association of CPAs and owner of Prime Numbers in Ferndale.
When you file that 2014 tax return next year, the Internal Revenue Service will compare your actual income for the year with the amount you estimated when applying for exchange-based health insurance under the health insurance law.
The next open enrollment period begins Nov. 15. But notices were sent this week to some consumers whose incomes don’t match up to such things as 2012 tax return information.
On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said at least 279,000 households reported incomes that still don’t match what the government has on record. Supporting documents are needed by Sept. 30.
What can you do to avoid tax-time problems?
Experts say people need to realize early on that they should report changes in income and other changes in one’s life, such as a marriage, throughout the year. See HealthCare.gov to report "income and life changes."
Of course, many people may have no idea that they’d need to report changes.
Generation Xers, those born from the early 1960’s to the 1980’s, are taking home bigger paychecks than their parents did at the same age but they haven’t saved up nearly as much wealth.
The average Gen Xer has accumulated about $29,100 in wealth, compared to $65,200 that their parents had acquired at the same age, according to a new report from the Pew Economic Mobility Project. Wealth includes savings, retirement funds, homes and other investments. Excluding home equity, the typical Gen Xer holds about $13,000 in wealth, while the typical parent of a Gen Xer had about $18,000 at the same age.
"They are on track to be the first in recent history to fall behind previous generations in terms of wealth accumulation, a key indicator of economic security and particularly retirement preparedness," Diana Elliott, research manager of financial security and mobility at Pew, said in a statement.
Though three-quarters of Gen Xers have higher family incomes than their parents did at the same age, only 36 percent of Gen Xers have higher family wealth than their parents did, Pew said.
Part of the explanation is debt levels. Gen Xers have nearly six times the debt that their parents did. Nearly all Gen Xers report holding student loan, medical, credit card or other debt, with a median amount owed of more than $7,000. Gen Xers’ parents held about $1,000 in debt at the same point in their lives.
Student loan debt in particular has increased sharply in the aftermath of the Great Recession, now totaling more than $1 trillion nationwide, according to the Fed. All other types of debt like credit card debt and mortgages fell over that period. The burden of monthly student loan payments has delayed many Gen Xers from saving for emergencies and retirement and from buying homes, according to the Urban Insititute.
Another reason for Gen Xers’ slow wealth buildup is that the generation was the hardest hit by the 2008-2009 recession and lost nearly half their wealth, according to an earlier Pew study. Also, many entered the workforce in the early 1990’s, during a recession, then weathered another recession in the early 2000’s just as they began building wealth. Then many Gen Xers bought homes as the housing market picked up in the 2000’s, only to see the value of their homes drop in 2008-2009. The median value of mortgages held by 35 to 44-year-olds increased by 54 percent from 1995 to 2007, while home values fell by one-fifth, Bloomberg reported.
The Gen Xers who do exceed their parents’ family wealth have on average three times more wealth than the typical Gen Xer, but about half of Gen Xers remain in the income level they were born into. Typical white Gen Xers have about $17,000 more in family income and hold over four times the non-home-equity wealth than black Gen Xers.
Gen Xers with college degrees are actually less likely to surpass their parents’ wealth than their non-college-educated peers. While 82 percent of college-educated Gen Xers earn more than their parents did, only 30 percent have greater wealth. But 70 percent of Gen Xers without four-year college degrees have higher income than their parents did, and about half also have greater wealth, Pew said. That could be because college-educated Gen Xers are more likely to come from wealthier families and hold more debt than their non-college-educated peers. Still, degree-holding Gen Xers make about $25,000 more a year than their peers without degrees and own $26,000 more in home equity and $9,000 more in wealth, Pew said.
fucking thank you
we live in a world where the collective of thoughts and biases can be blamed on the collective whole and made to seem hypocritical rather than attributed to the vastly different and constantly changing beliefs and thoughts of individuals.