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Mid-year tax reminders and notices

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There's three reminders for the mid-year. The first is important for everyone, the second for those who had marketplace health insurance in 2014, and the third for anyone who currently has marketplace insurance or looking to replace their insurance mid-year.

The IRS cautions of more sophisticated scams. For years, the IRS has reminded filers that they do not contact taxpayers by phone or email. Requests for information or immediate payment by phone or email are scams and should be ignored. Unfortunately, the scammers have been listening as well, as they have added letters to their schemes. Some people are receiving letters with official looking IRS letterhead looking for information or payment. That creates more of a challenge, since the IRS does contact taxpayers by mail and these letters often have short deadlines.

If you do receive a letter from the IRS, you should review it with your tax preparer. If you do not have a tax preparer and you suspect you do owe taxes, you should contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to set up a payment plan. If you don't know if you owe taxes, you can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. Both those numbers have limited hours and tend to have shorter wait times earlier in the day. If your letter provides a phone number, you might try typing it into a search engine such as Google before you call. That should tell you who owns the number.

When calling in response to a letter, remember the IRS would never:

  • Angrily demand immediate payment over the phone
  • Demand you pay the taxes without giving you an opportunity to appeal the amount they say you owe
  • Require you to use a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.

Did you receive subsidized health insurance in 2014? Then you need to file a 2014 tax return.This is true even if your income is below the filing threshold, you have no taxes due or your income is exactly as you estimated when you applied for healthcare insurance. The IRS is reminding those who received advance payments of the premium tax credit (also known as subsidized health insurance) to file their 2014 tax returns as soon as practical. Even if you submitted a tax extension, filing before Oct. 15 will protect your ability to claim the advance tax credit in 2016. As a heads up, the IRS is sending various letters notifying those with subsidized health insurance of the need to file.

And the last reminder: If you have subsidized insurance in 2015 and your situation changes, you need to contact the marketplace.Reasons to contact the marketplace include a change in the availability of employer insurance, income changes, changes in family size or if you're moving. Conversely, if you had insurance through an employer and have lost it, you may be able to obtain health insurance through the marketplace.

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