Hello Fellow Taxpayers,
Although this email is a little off schedule, I thought it was best to get this to you as soon as possible.
In a recent USA Today article, several important dates mentioned, and I feel compelled to spread the word. Families looking for financial assistance to help with their children’s college costs next fall can fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) starting this month (October). The form is a critical reference point used to determine a student’s financial need and can open the spigot for not only national loans and grants but aid from states, private entities, and the colleges themselves.
Important dates… Remember to mark your calendar.
The deadline to file is June 30, 2021, but many schools and states that rely on the FAFSA make their aid decisions much sooner. High school counselors or college financial aid officers can help sort through the deadlines.
On Oct. 10, the Social Security Administration will inform millions of seniors and other benefit recipients what cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) they can expect next year.
The automatic annual upticks started in 1975 and are linked to the Consumer Price Index to ensure that the spending power of Social Security benefits doesn’t shrink because of inflation. A raise isn’t certain, but there is typically an increase. Last year, the adjustment was 2.8%.
Open enrollment for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for Americans who are at least 65 years old and younger people who have a disability, begins its open enrollment period in mid-October. It extends through Dec. 7.
In parts of the country where people access the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace through www.healthcare.gov, open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and goes through Dec. 15. Thirteen states operate their own marketplaces and as such, may have their own timetables. Check out this hyperlink for details, https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace-in-your-state/ (note that Florida is not one of them).
For companies whose health plans start in January, open enrollment begins in the fall, lasting a few weeks sometime between October and December. But many businesses have health plans that go into effect later in the year. For instance, a 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that plans at 10% of companies kicked off in April, and 11% had plans that started in December. That was compared to 37% of firms whose annual plans began in January.
For seniors and those that are disabled, open enrollment for Medicare begins its open enrollment period in mid-October. It extends through Dec. 7.
Lastly, and in my opinion, the most important date is Monday, October 15th.
That is the due date of extended tax returns for individuals. If you have a refund (and for the self-employed, made your estimates on time), it is not a big deal. However, if you owe tax, and did not pay in enough (even if you made a payment with your extension), you may be subject to the late payment penalty of ½% per month. So you should file the 2018 return as soon as possible.
Please pass this email along to anyone you think needs to know these important dates….Mark your calendar.
So until next time,
Jeffrey “The Calendar Man” Schneider