Affordable Care Act Penalty

Under the Affordable Care Act, there is a requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage. A penalty is imposed if an individual does not maintain the minimum coverage for themselves or any of their dependents for 1 or more months. The penalty is added to an individual’s tax return and accounted for as an additional amount of Federal tax owed.

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However, the penalty is treated differently under the Internal Revenue Code than other unpaid taxes. If a taxpayer fails to timely pay the penalty imposed under the Affordable Care Act they will not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to this failure. The use of liens and seizures otherwise authorized for collection of taxes does not apply to this penalty either.

If you have an amount due on your tax return before this penalty would be imposed, you can pay the normal income tax liability and leave the minimum coverage penalty unpaid and you will not be forced to pay it. They may send you threatening letters, but they cannot come after your personal assets or subject your wages to garnishment. Unfortunately, if you are overpaid on your income taxes and owe the penalty, they can reduce your refund by the penalty but not less than zero.

Be aware that the restriction on liens only applies to the filing a notice of federal tax lien, no to the lien itself. A federal tax lien arises automatically whether it is recorded or not. The failure to pay becomes a lien on the taxpayer’s property once assessed, but they cannot enforce that lien. The penalty will accrue interest if it is left unpaid, but once again all a taxpayer will likely receive is a nasty letter stating the balance.

The issue begins once the taxpayer with an unpaid penalty dies. If a taxpayer dies without having paid the penalty then the lien can be enforced upon their estate making the assets in the taxpayer’s estate subject to the penalty and interest that accrued on the balance.

So while you would not be forced to pay the penalty while you are living, your estate would be subject to any outstanding penalty upon your death.


If you have any questions regarding the Affordable Care Act Penalty, please contact us at (314) 993-4285 or office@hkaglobal.com.

Eight Tax-Time Errors to Avoid

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If you make a mistake on your tax return, it usually takes the IRS longer to process it. The IRS may have to contact you about that mistake before your return is processed. This will delay the receipt of your tax refund.

The IRS reminds filers that e-filing their tax return greatly lowers the chance of errors. In fact, taxpayers are about twenty times more likely to make a mistake on their return if they file a paper return instead of e-filing their return.

Here are eight common errors to avoid:

1. Wrong or missing Social Security numbers. Be sure you enter SSNs for yourself and others on your tax return exactly as they are on the Social Security cards.

2. Names wrong or misspelled. Be sure you enter names of all individuals on your tax return exactly as they are on their Social Security cards.

3. Filing status errors. Choose the right filing status. There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. See Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information, to help you choose the right one. E-filing your tax return will also help you choose the right filing status.

4. Math mistakes. If you file a paper tax return, double check the math. If you e-file, the software does the math for you. For example, if your Social Security benefits are taxable, check to ensure you figured the taxable portion correctly.

5. Errors in figuring credits, deductions. Take your time and read the instructions in your tax booklet carefully. Many filers make mistakes figuring their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the standard deduction. For example, if you are age 65 or older or blind check to make sure you claim the correct, larger standard deduction amount.

6. Wrong bank account numbers. Direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund. Make sure you enter your bank routing and account numbers correctly.

7. Forms not signed, dated. An unsigned tax return is like an unsigned check – it’s invalid. Remember both spouses must sign a joint return.

8. Electronic signature errors. If you e-file your tax return, you will sign the return electronically using a Personal Identification Number. For security purposes, the software will ask you to enter the Adjusted Gross Income from your originally-filed 2011 federal tax return. Do not use the AGI amount from an amended 2011 return or an AGI provided to you if the IRS corrected your return. You may also use last year’s PIN if you e-filed last year and remember your PIN.

For tax needs feel free to contact us at 314-993-4285.

Charity Benefits People and Your Wallet- Youth Opportunity Tax Credits

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The season of giving not only provides benefits to the receivers, but also for people who give this year.

The state of Missouri has recently introduced Youth Opportunity Program Tax Credits. YOPs are designed for programs that broaden and strengthen opportunities for positive development and participation in community life for youth.  Fund raising through the YOP eligible gifts will directly support low-income families.

So, for those of you who are unaware of what a tax credit is we thought it might be a benefit to explain.  A tax credit is actually different from a tax deduction, which works by lowering taxable income, tax credits are a direct reduction of your taxes due.  With tax credits, you have a chance to reduce the amount you owe to the state.

Tax credits are Youth Opportunity Tax Credits are a 50% dollar for dollar deduction from your Missouri State Income Tax. Whether it be individual, business, insurance or banking income.  That means that whatever you give to the charitable institutional, 50% of your contribution comes off of what you owe the state in taxes.

For instance, if you contribute $10,000 to a charity eligible for the YOP tax credit, $5000 of it will be saved in Missouri State Taxes. Even better, this tax credit is in addition to your Federal Tax Deduction.

There are over 60 youth-based organizations in the state of Missouri who participate in the Youth Opportunity Program.  To view a list of these organizations and find out how you can participate, please click here.

For more information on how the YOP tax credit can benefit you and your wallet, please contact Hauk Kruse & Associates for more information at 314-993-4285 or click here to visit our website.

HKA December Charities- We’re “Almost Home” For The Holidays!

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On December 6th, the Hauk Kruse family assisted the families at Almost Home in Saint Louis to make their holidays even brighter by decorating their homes for the holidays. When I went to Almost Home, I didn’t know what to expect.   I knew that the home housed about 10-15 young women with their children.  What I didn’t realize was that the organization wasn’t just a housing rehabilitation facility,  it was really so much more; it was a home.

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Lauren, the Development Coordinator was welcoming and informative.  She showed us the living space and we began to decorate the halls. As we decorated, I couldn’t help but think about what their day might be like.  These ladies get up every morning, get ready for school or work, take care of their children with the understanding that there is no husband, parent, grandparent or friend to assist them.  They are the breadwinner, they are ultimately, solely responsible for their destinies.

What makes these women different is that they never had a helping hand.  They were born into the world with no great advice from dad or the loving embrace of their mother. They came into this world not knowing what the next day would bring.  Coming from a place of strength in my family unit, it was hard for me to get my head around this.  The only resolve I have is to have nothing but complete compassion and admiration for the strength of these women.

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(From Left) Jessica Murphy, Abby Romberger

Last year, my sister Amanda and her husband Justin welcomed their first child.  Over the past year, I have seen and experienced second hand all that goes into properly raising a child.  In itself, it is truly the hardest profession to undertake.  These ladies do it every day.  Almost Home acts as a safe “rite of passage” so that they can take on other aspirations like school and work.  Almost Home provides for the continued development for these ladies and their children.

As we finished the decorating, I found comfort in the belief that these ladies will overcome.  They have been provided a place to start again in a new direction filled with love, support and opportunity; and some great mentors to help guide their way. They are my new heroes.

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(From Left)Brian Godfroid, Julio Davila, Blake Will & Bill Kruse

I have gratitude for Almost Home, for the people like Lauren and the rest of the team there who dedicate their lives to assisting others.

Please donate to Almost Home today by clicking here.

HKA Supports Charities: Lunch at St Patrick Center, St. Louis

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(From Left) Jessie Murphy & Bill Kruse serving their community.

On November 11th, 2013, the HKA family partnered up with The St Patrick Center to donate their time during the “Thanksgiving” season to helping others in need.  As the temperature quickly drops in the mid-western metropolis, it is now more important than ever to help those less fortunate.

“The St Patrick Center outing was a wonderful opportunity to expose and remind our Firm.  We have been exposed to a need and found it to be an easy need to fill.  This will help desensitize us to volunteerism in general.  It didn’t hurt, wasn’t scary, and felt good.  It also showed us what a successful institution of helping others looks like and will serve as a reminder should others try to convince us that these charities do not accomplish their goals of service.

Abby with Davey, from the St Patrick Center

Abby with Davey, from the St Patrick Center

We were also reminded of the need.  We saw the need first hand and it is real.  What little we do is appreciated, from the smiles on the faces to the glowing face of one young gentleman in particular of about 4 who skipped up to see us and stole our heart with his openness and happiness.  It reminds me of a quote I once read.. “The caliber of the soul of a great city can be seen in the faces of her most needy.”  As I looked into the faces of those served at St Patrick Center I did not see malice or hatred, I saw something different, not always hope, but not resignation either, and where there is at least some hope, much can be gained. ”  – Bill Kruse, Managing Partner

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Blake Will and Brian Godfroid serving lunch

“There is no better feeling at the end of the day then knowing that you played a role in making someone’s life better, if only for an hour”  – Jessie Murphy, Administrative Asst.

To learn more about The St Patrick Center or to donate visit http://www.stpatrickcenter.org today.

HKA Supports Charities – Cornbread’s Adopt a Soldier at Thanksgiving 2013

With Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day rapidly approaching, Bill Kruse, managing partner thought it would be a good idea to let our servicemen and servicewomen know just how much we appreciate them.  One cause that is important to him is “Cornbread’s Adopt A Soldier” program.

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This grass-root effort was started by Cornbread right after the tragic September 11th events. His main goal is to honor active US Military personnel. Cornbread’s Adopt a Soldier connects supportive St. Louisans with deployed soldiers and offers a channel by which to communicate encouragement, support, and express gratitude to the brave men and women serving our country.

HKA adopted Brian Mudd on November 1st, 2013. He will be receiving the items he requested including razors, shave cream a lots of goodies to make him feel as close to home as possible while he is away serving our great country.

The Year In Review 2013- The Color Run

As we approach the end of 2013, we thought it would be a good time for reflection.  We are proud to look back at some of the many charitable organizations we’ve supported in 2013. Each event that we participated in was unique in its own way.  Looking back, these events were fulfilling and ultimately led the HKA team to participate in more events that supported causes that were near and dear to our hearts.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds”

– Abraham Lincoln.

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On April 27th, 2013, we put their best foot forward by participating in The Color Run – St. Louis in support of the Autism Speaks organization. The color run is an event series and 5K paint race takes place all over the world.  It is an untimed event, has no winners or prizes but runners are showered with colored powder at stations along the run.  Autism Speaks is an autism advocacy organization in the United States that sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public. Autism affects 1 out of every 88 children.  It is a developmental disability that most families have been faced with.  Although there is no cure for ASDs, awareness is key to empower the families to better understand prevention and treatment for autistic children.

“The Color Run is a great time. The company is “for-profit”, but it selects a local organization as its charity partner for each race. The St. Louis charity partner was Autism Speaks which is awesome because I have a cousin who has severe autism. It’s good to know that while having a fun time you are helping others in the community.”- Brian Godefroid, HKA Global