The holidays have come and gone, and the lovely spring days are yet ahead. Many will be dusting off their collection of receipts and preparing to file for 2016. Some have already begun, but if you’re one of those who have yet to file, know that a few things have changed this year. Knowing your responsibilities and the timeline to complete them can remove a lot of stress and allow for smooth sailing in this year’s returns.

 

  1. Tax deadline is April 18, 2016. This is due to the Emancipation Day holiday falling on Friday, April 15, in Washington D.C.
  1. The penalties related to, “Obamacare” are rising this year. If you don’t have qualifying health care in 2015, you may face increased penalties due to the Affordable Care Act. The penalties are now at $285 per adult or 2% of income above the limit for filing. For those looking into the future, the penalty amounts will rise again to $695 per adult or 2.5% of income. The maximum penalty for families will also rise from $975 in 2015 to $2085 in 2016, so you can either plan to obtain coverage or start saving to pay the penalties in the coming year. Our tax professionals can help you navigate these changes.
  1. Standard deductions for head-of-household filers are increasing. Don’t panic. It isn’t a huge increase. The increase is $50, which brings it to $9,300 in 2016.
  1. More opportunities to put away dollars on a pre-tax basis can be found by seeking a high deductible health plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA). For 2015, limits for individual contributions remain at the 2015 rate of $3,350 but the maximum family contribution increased to $6,750. You can also opt for a catch-up contribution of an additional $1,000 for those 55 and over.
  1. If you have three or more dependent children, there is a little good news for you this tax year–up $27, which brings the total to $6,269. A family with two children faces a maximum of $5,572, which has increased $24 from 2015. One-child families have a maximum of $3,373, which is up only $14 from last year. Families with no children may claim up to $506 in 2016.
  1. Did you have a good financial year? If so, keep your sights on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Single taxpayers get an increase in the exemption to $53,900. Joint filers will see a $500 increase, for a maximum of $83,800 for 2016.

 

For more information or insights regarding your taxes, contact our offices in Joplin, MO today. Our team of certified public accountants can help you and your family navigate the process of getting your taxes squared away