Whether you're seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Their power is in their versatility--many types of trusts exist, each designed for a specific purpose. Although trust law is complex and establishing a trust requires the services of an experienced attorney, mastering the basics isn't hard. PKC Consulting recommends that all clients work with an attorney and an accountant to develop an estate plan.Read here to get a basic understanding of types of trusts.
Did you get a letter from the IRS?
Don't be alarmed! Call PKC today and we can help. This is the time of year that the IRS will send out notice letters by mail to those that may have forgotten to include income on their tax return. Generally, a notice received now is for tax year 2010. When you receive a notice, you will have 30 days to respond. Please notify PKC at 608-783-0440 and we can assist you in resolving your issue.
White House Delays Employer Health Insurance Mandate
The White House announced on July 2, 2013, that it would delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act's reporting requirements applicable to large and mid-sized employers and health insurers for one year. As a result, the health insurance mandate applicable to these same employers will not be enforced until 2015. The announcement appeared in separate blog posts from the White House (www.whitehouse.gov) and the Department of the Treasury (www.treasury.gov). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer health insurance coverage to their employees by January 1, 2014, or pay fines, referred to as "shared responsibility payments." In addition, the ACA requires that these same employers and health insurance providers comply with certain reporting requirements also by January 1, 2014. Now these requirements will not be enforced until January 1, 2015. Proposed rules implementing these reporting provisions are expected to be published this summer. In the interim, since reporting requirements are delayed, the government can't readily determine which employers owe shared responsibility payments for not complying with the insurance mandate, necessitating a delay in the implementation of that requirement. Important to note is that the White House announcement indicated that employers exceeding the minimum health insurance mandate may not have to fulfill some of the more detailed reporting requirements. In an effort to encourage a smoother transition in 2015, once the proposed rules are issued, employers are encouraged to implement procedures necessary to meet the reporting requirements, and to use the extra time to adapt their current health insurance offerings to comply with the ACA insurance mandate.
Beginning in January 2013, a number of new taxes will go into effect as a result of recent legislation that you may not be aware of. PKC would like to help you plan ahead to avoid any surprises next tax season. You may have to pay additional taxes due to an additional 0.9% Medicare surtax on high earners, additional 3.8% surtax on Net Investment Income over a certain threshold, reinstated phaseouts of itemized deductions and exemptions, and a new tax bracket of 39.6% is now in place. Please call to schedule an appointment with a tax advisor to discuss which of the above may affect you.read more
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What are health Exchanges and do I have to buy health insurance through them?
A health insurance Exchange is essentially a one-stop health insurance marketplace. Exchanges are not issuers of health insurance. Rather, they contract with insurance companies who then make their insurance coverage available for examination and purchase through the Exchange. In essence, Exchanges are designed to bring buyers and sellers of health insurance together, with the goal of increasing access to affordable coverage. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does not require that anyone buy coverage through an Exchange. However, beginning in 2014, each state will have one Exchange for individuals and one for small businesses (or they may combine them). States have the option of running their own state-based Exchange or partnering with the federal government to operate a federally facilitated Exchange. States not making a choice default to a federally run Exchange. Through an Exchange, you can compare private health plans based on coverage options, deductibles, and cost; get direct answers to questions about coverage options and eligibility for tax credits, cost-sharing reductions, or subsidies; and obtain information on a provider's claims payment policies and practices, denied claims history, and payment policy for out-of-network benefits. Policies sold through an Exchange must meet certain requirements. Exchange policies can't impose lifetime limits on the dollar value of coverage, nor may plans place annual limits on the dollar value of coverage. Insurance must also be "guaranteed renewable" and can only be cancelled in cases of fraud. And Exchanges can only offer qualified health plans that cover essential benefits. In order to be eligible to participate in an individual Exchange: •You must be a U.S. citizen, national, or noncitizen lawfully present in the United States •You cannot be incarcerated •You must meet applicable state residency standards