Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Features

December 4, 2012

Low-income households to be hit with tax increases

(Continued)

Knoxville —

Franck believes if lower income families are hit with these tax increases, the economy will worsen. He does not believe that America is out of the economic slump that began in 2008. 

The state and federal governments are also becoming more aggressive in their collections, and doing more to crack down on potential fraud, according to Franck. To be able to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, the government now wants tax preparers to ask questions and require documentation to show proof that what a taxpayer is claiming is actually the truth. Franck said documentation that may be necessary when filing in 2013 includes photocopies of children's Social Security cards, letters from school verifying that the taxpayer is the primary provider for a child and more. Those claiming "head of household" will also be asked to provide copies of rent checks, utility bills and other forms of proof that you have paid these expenses. 

"We don't want people to get blind-sided," Franck said. 

"Affordable Care Act" impacts

Many new requirements will befall all taxpayers in 2014, due to the "Affordable Care Act." Franck said he and other H&R Block members intend to spend a great deal of time in 2013, after tax season, to educate people on what is coming in 2014. 

Upper tax-bracket earners will see a 3.8 percent tax on investment income. Companies will be faced with a decision to either pay a penalty to the federal government or continue to provide health insurance. Franck believes most companies will opt to pay the penalty, and end their employer coverage, thus leaving employees with the task of finding another source of health insurance.

Not buying health insurance will lead to a higher tax bill in 2014. The US Supreme Court deemed the insurance purchasing mandate a "tax," and if one fails to prove he or she has purchased health insurance, the tax will be charged when filing after 2014. This could cost a family several hundred to over $1,000 in additional taxes. 

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