1. Affordable Care Act
In January a number of ACA changes will kick in affecting millions of Americans individually as well as employers, so it’s no surprise ACA tops our list of 2016’s money matters to think about now.
To kick things off, in 2016 there will be stiffer individual mandate penalties, increasing to 2.5 percent of the yearly household income (The maximum is the yearly premium for the national average of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace), or $695 per adult/$347.50 per child, whichever amount is higher. The maximum penalty per family is $2,085.
For employers, while changes in ACA reporting requirements for 2016 primarily apply to businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, also called “Applicable Large Employers” (ALEs), there are also aspects that will now impact employers with less than 50 full-time employees. For example, in 2016, any employer who offers self-insured group health plans may now also have to file forms 1094-B and 1095-B for each employee. To determine if you will now need to file these forms, or to get full details on 2016 ACA changes that may impact you or your practice, visit https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Employers. Contact your financial advisors to help determine the best tax strategies for you.
2. The IRS is taking a stand against identity theft.
Or at least we hope so. It was announced that taxpayers may receive written notice if tax returns seem suspicious and copies of the questionable returns will be provided in order to aid in the process of securing personal information.
3. Joint filing for same-sex couples.
Now that all married couples can file state income taxes in the same way regardless of gender, the tax-free transfer of property, gift taxes and inherited IRAs will all be impacted by the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.
4. New salary threshold proposed for overtime pay.
This year, the Obama administration proposed new overtime regulations that, if passed, would require most salaried workers earning less than $50,440 annually to be paid 1.5 times their normal pay for time worked beyond 40 hours. This is estimated to impact about five million workers in the new year.
5. New filing deadlines for 2016.
Next year, Emancipation Day falls on Friday, April 15, therefore the April filing deadline for taxpayers will be extended until Monday, April 18, 2016, for 2015 individual returns and for the first 2016 estimated tax payment. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until April 19, 2016, to file their returns in observance of Patriot’s Day on April 18.