Welcome!

News Feed Item

What Does a Tax Return Have to Do With Health Care? H&R Block Knows...

Company Launches Free Tools and Services, Highlights 2012 Income Tax Return as Central to Determining Health Insurance Eligibility

KANSAS CITY, MO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/25/13 -- It's the biggest change to the federal tax code in the past 20 years. But, taxpayers are alarmingly unfamiliar with its impact. The Affordable Care Act -- aka health care reform -- carries changes that impact just about every taxpayer. A survey conducted by The Tax Institute at H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) found that 3 out of 4 taxpayers do not know what it takes to become eligible for health insurance under the new law.

H&R Block is the only tax preparation company providing clients with a free personalized review of how the health care law would impact them and has launched www.hrblock.com/healthcare for all taxpayers to "test drive" the new law.

The law, passed two years ago and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, mandates that most individuals have health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty via their tax return. Those who qualify could be eligible for government assistance to help pay their insurance premium.

"There certainly is an intersection of health care and taxes," said Roland Sabates, tax research manager with The Tax Institute at H&R Block. "This tax season will be one of historical significance -- both in terms of understanding what credits and deductions remain in the new tax laws, as well as how health care reform will impact taxes. This is not the year to go it alone."

Taxpayers to receive personalized health care and tax review

The survey conducted by The Tax Institute showed that 77 percent of consumers were unaware the 2012 tax return can be used to determine eligibility for health care benefits. The survey also found that 45 percent of Hispanic respondents were not aware of a possible tax penalty if they do not have health insurance.

Based on 2012 tax returns, H&R Block will provide taxpayers with information showing if they qualify for a subsidy and how much they can expect to pay out of pocket for the monthly premium. In addition, it will detail the possible penalty they would pay if they do not obtain health insurance.

Just who may qualify for a subsidy could surprise some taxpayers. For example:

  • A family of four earning approximately $90,000 could be eligible for some government assistance paying for health insurance.

  • A married couple with two minor children and income of $40,000 would owe approximately $170 a month for insurance and be eligible for government assistance. If they choose not to obtain insurance their penalty would be $285 for 2014 and $975 for 2015.

"This personalized tax and health care review will be an initial education for the taxpayer as to their options and provide them a solid foundation as they prepare to comply with the health care law later in 2013," said Sabates.

Take a test drive through health care reform

New for this tax season, H&R Block has launched a website -- www.hrblock.com/healthcare. The site is designed to educate consumers on the basics of the law and provide real-life examples of the impact on various taxpayers. This user-driven experience enables the taxpayer to get a sense of the impact of the law through examples of four different taxpayers based on where they live, their family size, income and current health care insurance status.

Taxpayers also can visit the website to access a calculator that can help them determine if they would be eligible for a subsidy.

New tax consequences also emerge from health care law

Beginning with the 2012 tax return, taxpayers who have health insurance through their employer may notice additional data on their W-2 detailing the cost of their employer-provided insurance. That information is for informational purposes only to help individuals understand the true cost of health insurance, but is not a taxable benefit to employees.

In addition, several provisions of the law go into effect:

  • The threshold for deducting medical expenses for those who itemize moves up from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of adjusted gross income for most taxpayers.

  • The cap on health flexible spending accounts goes from $5,000 to $2,500.

  • There is an additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax on single filers with earned income in excess of $200,000 and married couples filing jointly with income of in excess of $250,000. The additional tax only applies to the amount of income above these thresholds.

"Universally, people don't understand what health care reform is, what they need to do and where to go for help," Sabates said. "There are so many intersections between the health care law and taxes, and that is where H&R Block is the expert and here to help."

For more information about how health care reform impacts the tax return, contact a local H&R Block tax professional. To find the nearest H&R Block office, visit www.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.

About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's largest tax services provider. More than 600 million tax returns worldwide have been prepared by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2012, H&R Block had annual revenues of $2.9 billion and prepared 25.6 million tax returns worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in company-owned and franchise retail tax offices by nearly 90,000 professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block At Home™ digital products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Online Press Center.

About The Tax Institute at H&R Block
The Tax Institute at H&R Block is the go-to source for objective insights on federal and state tax laws affecting the individual. It provides nonpartisan information and analysis on the real world implications of tax policies and proposals to policymakers, journalists, experts and tax preparers. The Institute's experts include CPAs, Enrolled Agents, tax attorneys and former IRS agents.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
Join us at Cloud Expo June 6-8 to find out how to securely connect your cloud app to any cloud or on-premises data source – without complex firewall changes. More users are demanding access to on-premises data from their cloud applications. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” but an important differentiator that drives competitive advantages. It’s the new “must have” in the hybrid era. Users want capabilities that give them a unified view of the data to get closer to customers and grow business. The...
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists loo...
"Tintri focuses on the Ops side of the DevOps, which basically is pushing more and more of the accessibility of the infrastructure to the developers and trying to get behind the scenes," explained Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discussed...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"We focus on composable infrastructure. Composable infrastructure has been named by companies like Gartner as the evolution of the IT infrastructure where everything is now driven by software," explained Bruno Andrade, CEO and Founder of HTBase, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.