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
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, lead architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next-generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to captu...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
"We have several customers now running private clouds. They're not as large as they should be but it's getting there. The adoption challenge has been pretty simple. Look at the world today of virtualization vs cloud," stated Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...