Tax Deadline Approaching
The tax filing deadline for 2013 individual income taxes is April 15, 2014. As we head into the last few weeks of the filing season, outreach is as important as ever. In 2011, the IRS announced that $153.3 million in taxpayer refunds was unclaimed. Undoubtedly, that number has only risen since then.
Read more about end of tax season news here.
Income Limits for The Benefit Bank Taxes
The Benefit Bank has adjusted our income limit for filing taxes with our service. Previously, the income limit for all households was $60,000. For the 2013 tax season, we will have two income limits. Joint tax filers must have income less than or equal to $95,000. All other tax filers must have income less than or equal to $65,000. Please refer to the full article in this newsletter for more information about how this new income limit will affect the availability of tax credits and deductions in The Benefit Bank.
Read more about What's New For the 2013 Tax Season here.
Solutions for Progress Launches MyBudgetCoach
Many low- and moderate-income working families believe that financial stability is a goal reserved only for the wealthy. A single untimely health emergency or home or auto repair can be the difference between stability and chaos for these families.
Financial stability is a continuum of events. When families and individuals use services such as The Benefit Bank early on in the continuum, they are able to acquire basic needs by accessing public funds rightly due to them. At a later point on this continuum, individuals and families with income need the knowledge and skills to maintain and grow their assets as they continue down the path towards long-term financial stability.
In September 2013, Solutions for Progress began operating MyBudgetCoach, in partnership with the Center for Financial Services Innovation. MyBudgetCoach is an innovative online service that combines best practices from the financial capability/literacy world with the support and accountability of financial coaching.
TBB Making Changes to Support Consumers in Accessing Health Insurance
The Benefit Bank is making changes to support consumers in accessing health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Significant upgrades have been made to QuickCheck to provide counselors with a tool to quickly assess a client's most likely health coverage options, which include Medicaid, CHIP, and tax credits available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The enhanced QuickCheck, which also makes improvements for screening other federal and state benefits, is now available.
Beginning in January 2014, counselors in limited states will be able to use TBB to help users fill out the states's standard paper application form (often referred to as the Single Streamlined Application) to apply for Medicaid, CHIP, and supports offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
As the requirements of the ACA are rolled out, TBB counselors will be the preferred resource for clients who need assistance with multi-benefit applications and/or who are unskilled or uncomfortable with online applications.