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2014 National Average Bronze Premium Set

In late July, the IRS released a key figure for determining the individual shared-responsibility payment for failure to maintain minimum essential health care coverage, better known as the “individual mandate” penalty (Rev. Proc. 2014-46). The penalty for each tax year is the lesser of: (1) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts for each individual in the shared-responsibility family; or (2) the sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums for the shared-responsibility family. The revenue procedure provides that the national bronze-level average premium for 2014 is $204 per individual per month of noncoverage and that the monthly national average premium in 2014 is $1,020 for a shared-responsibility family with five or more members (see Sec. 5000A(c) and “Tax Practice Corner: Calculating the Health Care Individual Mandate Penalty,” JofA, Jan. 2014, page 54).

Chief Counsel Gives Litigating Position Post-Rand

In Chief Counsel Notice CC-2014-007, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) instructed its attorneys to not treat claims for refund or credit based on erroneous refundable credits as a negative amount of tax shown on the return when determining the amount of an underpayment subject to penalty under Sec. 6662 or 6663, consistent with the Tax Court’s holding in Rand, 141 T.C. No. 12 (2013) (see “Tax Matters: Penalty Calculation Properly Based on Erroneous Credits, Tax Court Holds,” JofA, Feb. 2014, page 62). Where a taxpayer statutory notice reflects an accuracy-related or fraud penalty based in part on such a negative amount of tax, IRS attorneys are instructed to concede that portion of the penalty.

TIGTA: IRS Reporting to Health Exchanges Highly Accurate

The IRS appears to be doing a near-perfect job of providing correct taxpayer information to health insurance exchanges as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported (Rep’t No. 2014-43-044).
In an audit, TIGTA reviewed a sample of more than 100,000 requests by the exchanges for the Service to verify applicants’ income and family size for purposes of determining eligibility for coverage through the exchanges and for the advance Sec. 36B premium tax credit. The responses were 99.97% accurate, TIGTA determined. As of March 31, 2014, the IRS had received more than 27 million income and family verification requests and more than 11 million advance premium tax credit requests.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.