Five Tax Law Changes for 2015

by | Nov 6, 2014 | Financial Featured

It’s the final months of 2014. As society plans holiday feasts, and creates shopping lists and budgets, it’s also a good time to contemplate tax season. Tax time is right around the corner, and 2015 is ringing in a number of tax law changes, including Affordable Care Act (ACA) and new limits on IRA rollovers. The following is a list of the tax law changes that could potentially affect your return.

1. The New for 2015 Affordable Care Tax Law

There are over 20 new taxes linked to the ACA.

Investopedia reports that, “Under the ACA, the total amount of new taxes on individuals and businesses will climb to $500 billion by 2023.” Low-income families and individuals needn’t worry because the tax hikes only affect individuals who’ve earned at least $200,000 annually, or families who’ve earned at least $250,000 annually. Small business owners will also see some increases in taxes owed.

Businesses may need to cut costs, in order to afford all the new taxes this year. Small businesses, especially, may find they’re burdened by the new taxes. For those businesses, it may be necessary to cut discretionary spending, stop paying for unnecessary equipment, boost sales, and eliminate paper waste. reports that, “Processing paper-based invoices could be costing you 3 times as much,” so make the switch to electronic invoicing before taxes come due.

Thankfully, most people don’t have to worry about ACA taxes because: “The federal government estimates that 85 percent of all Americans who already have health insurance won’t face any, or at least any significant, changes to their taxes,” reports Investopedia.

2. Education Credits and Pell Grant Tax Law Changes

In years passed, Pell grants would be quantified as “qualified education expenses.” In 2015, students aren’t limited to claiming their Pell Grant in this manner. Instead, they can apply the full amount as a living expense.

Although colleges apply grants to tuition, a Pell Grant can be applied as a living expense, and thus more education credits, such as American Opportunity Credit, can be applied to the tax return. Pell grants often use up the entire education credit, leaving no opportunity to apply other credits. This is no longer the case. That’s a sure win for students filing their tax returns in 2015.

3. All New 2015 IRA Rollover Limits

As of January 2015, it’s no longer possible to perform multiple IRA Rollovers. Although this won’t impact your 2014 filing, it will have a huge impact on how a lot of people save money in the New Year.

A rollover is defined as:

“Withdrawing funds from one IRA, holding them for less than 60 days and then depositing them into another IRA account.”

4. Inflation Adjustments for 2015

Standard deductions have increased a small amount, and have the potential to affect your tax return. Although changes shouldn’t be too significant, you may notice more or less in your return than years prior. For example, the standard deduction is up $100 from last year, for single or married filing separately. Additionally, married filing jointly and qualifying widows has seen a $200 increase.

5. Taking Care of Related Dependents Now Qualifies under Foster Care

Sometimes, a child or mentally/physically disabled loved one relies on the help of related guardians. Prior to the 2014 tax season, these dependents were not counted under foster care, and thus the guardians’ state or certified Medicaid payments were not excluded from taxable income. This resulted in a higher tax burden for family members attempting to help their loved ones. In 2014, these folks will receive better tax treatment.

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