Tax Center

Updates for 2014 Tax Filing


Income Limits for The Benefit Bank

The Benefit Bank income limits have stayed the same as last year. Joint tax filers must have adjusted gross income (AGI) less than or equal to $95,000. All other tax filers must have adjusted gross income (AGI) less than or equal to $65,000.

Same-Sex Married Couples

As was the case in 2013, same-sex married couples will be able to use The Benefit Bank to file a joint federal tax return. Please refer to your state for information about filing a state return if you are in a same-sex marriage.

Federal Tax Updates

The following summarizes the various changes that will be made to the Federal Tax program in The Benefit Bank due to updates to the tax law and new additions programmed into the service: The filing deadline is April 15, 2015.

Personal Exemption Increased To:
  • $3,950 deduction for each person in the tax household
Standard deduction amounts increased to the figures listed below.
  • Single or Married Filing Separately = $6,200
  • Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widower = $12,400
  • Head of Household = $9,100
  • Additional amounts for taxpayers who are blind OR age 65 or older are calculated based on a worksheet found in the 1040 instructions.
Premium Tax Credit

Starting in 2014, if you get your health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit. This tax credit can help make purchasing health insurance coverage more affordable for people with moderate incomes. If you purchased insurance through the Marketplace and chose to take advanced payments, then The Benefit Bank will make the calculations necessary to reconcile the amount of advanced payments you received with your actual premium tax credit eligibility on your tax return. If you did not receive advanced payments, then The Benefit Bank will calculate your premium tax credit amount on your tax return.

Health care individual responsibility payment:

Under the Affordable Care Act, you are required to have health insurance that qualifies as "minimum essential coverage" for the year. You are responsible for reporting health coverage status for you and your dependents to the IRS. If you or any of your dependents do not have minimum essential coverage (and do not qualify for an exemption), then you are responsible for paying an individual responsibility payment, which The Benefit Bank will calculate on your tax return.

The Benefit Bank will also ask you about any exemptions that you may have from owing the individual responsibility payment and will report this on the associated form.

The following deductions/adjustments are expired for Tax Year 2014 (unless they are extended prior to the tax filing season):
  • Educator Expense Deduction
  • Tuition and Fees Deduction
  • Itemized deduction for general sales tax (as opposed to income tax)
  • Itemized deduction for mortgage insurance premiums
Earned Income Thresholds increased to the figures listed below.
  • $46,997 ($52,427 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $43,756 ($49,186 married filing jointly) with two or more qualifying children
  • $38,511 ($43,941 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $14,590 ($20,020 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
  • The total of all interest, dividend, and capital gain income must be $3,200 or less regardless of whether the taxpayers have a qualifying child or not
  • Maximum Credit Amount
    • $6,143 with three or more qualifying children
    • $5,460 with two or more qualifying children
    • $3,305 with one qualifying child
    • $496 with no qualifying children
Standard Mileage Rate Decreased To:
  • 56 cents per mile for business use of a taxpayer's own vehicle

State Tax Summary of Changes

North Carolina

  • North Carolina now recognizes same-sex marriage and will follow IRS rules for same-sex married couples filing taxes. North Carolina filing status must be the same status as the taxpayer's federal filing status.
  • North Carolina now has a flat tax rate of 5.8%
  • North Carolina now has a new form, Form D-400 Schedule S, which reports any additions and deductions from federal income (this information was previously reported on the D-400)
  • Taxpayers can now make contributions to the North Carolina Education Endowment Fund either by making a direct contribution (regardless of taxes owed/refund amount) or by designating some or all of the taxpayer’s overpayment to the fund.
  • The North Carolina Standard Deduction amounts have increased to
    • Single = $7,500
    • Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er) = $15,000
    • Married Filing Separately (if spouse does NOT itemize) = $7,500
    • Head of Household = $12,000
  • The North Carolina Itemized Deduction only allows the following federal itemized deductions:
    • Qualifying home mortgage interest
    • Real estate property taxes
    • Charitable contributions
  • There is no longer a North Carolina Personal Exemption
  • The following deductions have been removed by North Carolina:
    • Deduction for retirement benefits
    • Deduction for severance wages
    • Deductions for contributions to North Carolina’s National College Savings Program (NC 529 Plan)
    • Deduction for volunteer firefighter or rescue squad worker
    • Deduction from Fed Form 8396 if you claimed the Mortgage Interest Credit
  • The following credits have been removed by North Carolina:
    • Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses
    • Credit for Charitable contributions by nonitemizers
    • Credit for long-term care insurance premiums
    • Credit for children with disabilities who require special education
    • Credit for disabled taxpayer, dependent or spouse
    • North Carolina Earned Income Tax Credit

Ohio

  • The Ohio Department of Taxation has added a new schedule, Schedule J. This form is required if any dependents are claimed on the OH tax form IT1040. Schedule J collects the dependents' name, social security number, and date of birth.
  • The Benefit Bank now supports Ohio's Small Business Tax Deduction, using tax form IT SBD. For the 2014 tax year, small businesses in Ohio are eligible for a 75% tax deduction on the first $250,000 of business income. The deduction is subtracted from the Ohio Adjusted Gross Income (OAGI), and cannot exceed the OAGI.
  • The Ohio Earned Income Tax Credit has increased. In 2013, the credit was 5% of the federal Earned Income Credit. In 2014, the credit is 10% of the federal Earned Income Credit. A taxpayer can no longer claim a personal exemption for him or herself in Ohio if he or she has been claimed as a dependent on another return. Personal/Dependent Exemption amounts in 2014 vary based on the taxpayer's Ohio Adjusted Gross Income:

  • Ohio Adjusted Gross Income Personal/Dependent Exemption
    $40,000 or less $2,200
    More than $40,000 but not more than $80,000 $1,950
    More than $80,000 $1,700

  • Taxpayers now have the option of donating a portion of their income tax refund to the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project.
  • The Ohio School District Tax Program has been updated to include four additional school districts that now have a tax, and to change the rate for six other school districts.
  • There is an 10% overall reduction in Ohio's income tax rates.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania now recognizes same-sex marriage and will follow IRS rules for same-sex married couples filing taxes. Pennsylvania filing status must be the same status as the taxpayer's federal filing status.
  • PA filers owed refunds who want to donate all or part of their refund now have seven charitable organizations to choose from. Two organizations, the Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund and the American Red Cross, were added to the list for this tax year.

South Carolina

  • On November 20th 2014, South Carolina became the 35th state to permit same sex marriage. The South Carolina Department of Revenue has not yet been given instructions for how same sex married taxpayers should file their state returns. We will provide more information as soon as it is released.