2017 Healthcare Reform Update

Update on 2017 Healthcare Reform

Earlier this month we had provided a summary of the potential tax provisions in the Republican sponsored healthcare legislation. Surprisingly, this legislation has been removed from the agenda signaling there will not be an immediate change to healthcare laws leaving the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in place. The healthcare reform bill was removed at the direction of President Trump as it appears that it was unlikely to pass in the House of Representatives.

This will leave many business owners unhappy as there was hope that some of the penalties and compliance requirements imposed by Obamacare would be removed going forward. Additionally, many individual taxpayers will be required to continue to pay the Medicare surcharge if they are single with earnings greater than $200,000 ($250,000 if married filing joint) and the net investment income tax if they are single with adjusted gross income greater than $200,000 ($250,000 if married filing joint).

It is unclear at this time if there will be new legislation focusing on healthcare reform will be introduced. We will keep you informed if there are any other developments in this area.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Common Filing Errors for Individual Tax Returns

Common Filing Errors for Individual Tax Returns

The IRS recently released Tax Tip 2017-24 which discusses the nine most common error if finds with individual tax returns. Taxpayers who make these mistakes will result in their tax return taking longer to process and refunds being delayed. Taxpayers preparing their own returns should be careful to double check all items included in their return to ensure their accuracy. The common errors identified by the IRS are listed below.

• Missing or inaccurate Social Security Numbers

• Misspelled names – Names need to be spelled exactly as they are listed on your Social Security Card. This error frequently happens when a taxpayer uses their married name on their tax return but never formally changed it with Social Security

• Filing status errors – The IRS finds that single individuals erroneously file with the head of household status. This status is only available for single individuals who have dependents

• Math mistakes

• Errors in calculating credits or deductions

• Incorrect bank account numbers

• Forms are not signed

• Electronic filing PIN errors – In order to electronically file a tax return an individual must select a Personal Identification Number or enter their Adjusted Gross Income from 2015

• Filing with an expired ITIN – Taxpayers who do not have a Social Security Number must obtain an Individual Tax Identification Number in order to file returns. These ITIN’s must be renewed periodically or certain exemptions and tax credits will be disallowed

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Republican Plan to Repeal Obamacare is Revealed

Republican Plan to Repeal Obamacare is Revealed

Last week President Trump endorsed the healthcare legislation proposed by the Republicans in the House of Representatives which would effectively repeal and replace Obamacare. Included in the plan are a number of tax changes that would be implemented in 2018 if passed. Below is a summary of the tax provisions in the proposed legislation.

• Repeal of the 3.8% net investment income tax on individuals with adjusted gross income (AGI) greater than $200,000 ($250,000 if married-filing joint)

• Repeal of the .9 percent additional Medicare tax on wages and self-employment earnings of individuals who earn more than $200,000 ($250,000 if married-filing joint)

• Delay the implementation of the excise tax on “Cadillac plans” for employer plans which are in excess of a certain cost to 2025

• Remove the shared responsibility payments by setting the payment to zero. This change would be retroactive to 2016

• Repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices and 10% excise tax on tanning services

• Replace the premium assistance tax credit with a refundable tax credit

The proposed legislation is expected to be opposed by the Democratic Party along with a number of advocacy groups. We will provide updates of any changes to the tax provisions of the plan along with a more detailed analysis if it becomes law.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dangerous W-2 Phishing Scam

Dangerous W 2 Phishing Scam

In previous years many organizations were victims of an “executive” email scam sent to the payroll department or controller by cybercriminals requesting a wire transfer to be made to a specific account. This year scammers created another scheme to steal employees W-2 information by sending an email from an organization’s executive to the payroll or human resources department requesting a list of employees and their W-2 forms. The IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, said that this is one of the most dangerous email phishing scams we’ve seen in a long time because it can result in the large-scale theft of sensitive data that criminals can use to commit various crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns.

The IRS issued an alert in February to warn employers that the quickly evolving W-2 phishing scam is now affecting not only the corporate world, but also other industries, including school districts, tribal organizations, and nonprofits. The IRS suggests employers to warn their employees of the scam and react quickly to reduce the impact of the fraud. For organizations who received a W-2 scam email, they should forward it to phishing @irs.gov with a subject “W2 Scam”. In addition, they should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3,), operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Individuals whose W-2 has been stolen should review the recommended actions by the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or the IRS at www.irs.gov/identitytheft. Form 14039 should be filed if a taxpayer’s tax return gets rejected due to a duplicate Social Security Number or as instructed by the IRS.

To prevent disastrous consequences of W-2 scams, employers can take some precautionary steps within the organization. This can include measures such as creating an internal policy on the distribution of employee W-2s and wire transfers, consulting cyber security professionals about how to establish a culture of web security at the organization, and educating employees to use only trusted tax return preparation programs and tech support services.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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