We hope that 2014 has been a happy and prosperous year for you and your family. Both the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board have new requirements, and this means we’ll need documents and information we have never needed in the past. Here is a list of new information we will need from you when we prepare your taxes:
Health insurance: Everyone must have health insurance in 2014 and everyone required to file a tax return must report their health insurance.
You will need proof of your insurance. You may receive a government form, such as Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, or you may receive a certificate from your health insurance company. If you don't, then you may need to show us a copy of your policy.
If you purchased health insurance through the California Exchange (or "Marketplace") or other state Exchange, then you may receive tax credits or premium subsidies throughout the year. If you received advance credits, then you must file a tax return to report them. To properly claim your credits, you must provide us with Form 1095-A.
If you were not covered at any time during the year, then you may have to pay a penalty unless you're entitled to an exemption. Some exemptions are claimed on the tax return and others require a certificate from the state Exchange. We cannot claim an Exchange exemption without that certificate.
To obtain the exemption, individuals must first submit an application to the state Exchange along with the necessary documentation. The process takes at least two weeks, and may take considerably longer if you wait and the process gets crowded.
To avoid delay of your refunds and to avoid complications in preparing your returns, we encourage you to obtain your insurance exemption now.
Foreign accounts: The reporting requirements for assets held overseas are increasing and the penalties for failure to report them are becoming increasingly harsh. Not all foreign holdings must be reported. If, for example, you hold stock in a foreign company through a U.S. broker, those holdings do not have to be separately reported. However, if you hold any other types of foreign assets, including bank accounts and securities accounts, then please let us know. If you have any doubt as to whether any of your assets are foreign, then please discuss those assets with us.
Please take extra care in preparing your organizer and documentation so we can do the best possible job to find new tax benefits that are hidden in the law and protect you from more aggressive audit programs and larger penalties.