DON’T FORGET TO UPDATE YOUR INCOME! FTR TAX TIP OF THE MONTH
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans without private health insurance can enroll in an insurance plan through HealthCare.gov. Open enrollment for 2020 runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 15, and the process requires you to estimate your income. If the amount you make falls below a certain level, you can get a credit on your monthly health insurance premium. So, what does this have to do with taxes? Well, if you fall into that lower income bracket and are approved for a credit, then you have to reconcile that credit on your tax return the following year. The issue is that estimating your income can be tricky, and if your real income changes, that can have a big impact on how much of your premium you’re expected to pay. Take two clients of mine for example. Last December, both of them signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov. Their incomes were low, so they qualified for large credits on their premiums. Then, a few months later, both clients took distributions from retirement accounts that put them over the poverty line that determines if a premium credit is available. They forgot to update their HealthCare.gov income levels, which means they continued taking credits they no longer qualified for. When it came time to file their tax returns and reconcile those credits, they got a nasty surprise: They owed the IRS money. One client owed $6,000 and the other a whopping $13,000, all because they’d forgotten to update their income levels. Because of these risks, it’s vital that you update your estimated income as it changes throughout the year if you’re enrolled through HealthCare.gov. The process works in reverse, too: If you qualified for a small credit in December because of higher income, but then change or lose your job and make less money, you will qualify for a bigger credit and smaller premium payment. Updating your income can save you thousands. To learn how to set yourself up for success during your enrollment process, visit HealthCare.gov/income-and-household-information/ how-to-report, and if you have any questions about the tax side of things, don’t hesitate to call FTR.
Gingerbread is a holiday classic of the very first order, but it’s often a construction material rather than a treat. This recipe, on the contrary, is purely for eating.
1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
• • • • • •
2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. Grease a loaf pan with canola oil.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup canola oil, molasses, brown sugar, eggs, ginger, and cranberries. In a separate bowl, sift and combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until blended. 4. Scrape batter into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. 5. Transfer to a rack, let cool for 20 minutes, slice, and serve.
Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine
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