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Don’t Overlook This Tax Credit

Mary Jo Pitzen is a senior manager in the Gilmore Jasion Mahler tax department. She works with clients across many industries, but has a focus on the construction industry. Mary Jo is also a board member for the Toledo chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Time for a Paycheck Checkup

You’ve probably noticed a bump in your paycheck this year. That’s because of the new tax law, and less money being taken out of your paycheck every pay period… but, what’s that going to mean when you file your tax return for 2018?

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Charlie Heid shared some thoughts with WTOL viewers recently on doing a paycheck “checkup”.

Why? As a result of the tax reform package that passed at the end of 2017, the IRS came out with a new W-4 and new tax withholding tables… which changed the amount of tax being taken out of people’s paychecks. Now it’s important that everyone double check that they’re having the right amount of tax taken out of their checks so that they don’t have a surprise and wind up owing a bunch of money when they’re used to getting a nice big tax refund.

Here are some highlights of the new tax law changes that impact tax withholding:

  1. Reduced tax rates
  2. Elimination of personal exemptions
  3. Increased standard deductions:
    • $12,000 single
    • $18,000 head of household
    • $24,000 married filing jointly
  4. Increased child tax credit
  5. Changes to itemized deductions

The IRS actually makes it pretty easy with an online withholding calculator. It’s right there on the home page at IRS.gov. 

What you’ll need:

  • Recent pay stubs
  • 2017 tax return for reference

You can just follow the prompts and start entering in your information to complete the paycheck “check-up.”

An important note about retirees:

They need to be aware this does impact them too. As many retirees know, once they’re no longer working, they pay estimated taxes on their pension and annuity income.

The new tax law changed how tax is calculated for all of us, and that includes retirees who may need to change the amount of estimated tax they pay on that income, or face a penalty.

The IRS is recommending that all people over retirement age also do this checkup. If you have older relatives you may want to consider doing this withholding checkup for them, if they’re not comfortable with navigating an online tool like the withholding calculator.     

To access the calculator, simply go to the IRS website homepage and click on “Do a Paycheck Checkup”.

Charlie Heid appears monthly on WTOL to tackle tax and money topics.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities

The Gig Economy

Gilmore Jasion Mahler Tax Partner Deanna Hall has over twenty years of public accounting and private industry experience. She works with businesses across many industries, with a focus on manufacturing.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.  

Upcoming Proposed Changes to Home Health PPS in 2019

caregiver and elderly personMedicare home health agencies have access to the Prospective Payment System (PPS) under the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. Though regularly amended annually, major changes to this system have, until now, been mostly talk. In July 2018, however, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) proposed several major changes to the operations, regulations, and payment system for HH PPS for calendar year 2019.

Current System

The current system is based on a case-mix model. Under this system, a home health agency receives payment for each 60-day episode of care, which is adjusted based on the assessment of a patient’s condition and expected therapy needs. Additional payments can be made for the costliest beneficiaries, for cases in which the cost of care exceeds a threshold amount established for each case-mix group. Low-utilization patients who require fewer than four visits in a 60-day episode are paid on a per visit basis.

Major Proposed Changes

CMS is proposing a 2.1 percent update for the payment rate in the Home Health PPS. Additionally, a new methodology is being proposed that will apply rural add-on payments, based on rural county classifications, as required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA of 2018).

There are major changes being proposed as to how the rates are assessed and payments distributed. Proposed refinements to the case-mix methodology, known as the Patient-Driven Grouping Model (PDGM), intend to better estimate cost based on resource use. The PDGM takes patient information and clinical characteristics and sorts patients into one of 216 groups based on admission source (community or institution), principal diagnosis (six categories), one of three functioning levels, and a co-morbidity category adjusted for secondary diagnoses.

The proposal will also once again seek to change the period of care from 60 days, down to 30 days, as required by the BBA of 2018. Both the change in grouping model, and 30-day unit of payment would go into effect January 1, 2020. The overall changes seek to remove therapy thresholds, and better incentivize quality of care over quantity.

Finally, the proposal aims to define “remote patient monitoring,” and include this as an allowable administrative cost. The definition would cover the collection of physiological data to include information that is digitally stored and/or transmitted from the patient to the HHS. This is in effort to better utilize emerging technology that has been able to digitally capture data, such as ECG, blood pressure, and glucose monitoring.

Other Changes

CMS plans to change some aspects of their home health quality reporting (HH QRP) program. These changes outline different factors for consideration when removing measures and proposing new reporting features, both for the future and the present changes. The goal is to lower agency costs when it comes to reporting – the current estimate is these measures will reduce agency spending by an estimated $60 million total, or $5,150 per year per agency.

Summary

CMS seeks to update HH PPS and other related home health policies starting in 2019, with some policies rolling out between 2019 and 2021. Overall, these changes are budget-saving adjustments intended to promote higher-quality treatment while staying budget-neutral. Rural counties will receive a classification based on population and home health use, and agencies will have fewer items to report to Medicare. Finally, new items, such as remote patient monitoring, would receive reimbursement starting as early as next year.

Jamie Dixon contributed this blog. Jamie is a member of the Gilmore Jasion Mahler Healthcare Specialist Team, with an expertise in long-term care, home healthcare and hospice. A member of the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice, he has been a member of the organization’s Financial Issues Committee for close to 20 years. 

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Welcome to Gilmore Jasion Mahler, Alyssa

Alyssa Essert Gilmore Jasion MahlerAs new people join the GJM team, we like to share a questionnaire with them. It’s a chance for them to share a bit about themselves, and to help the GJM community get to know our new staff members a little better. Enjoy this Q&A with our new Tax Coordinator Alyssa Essert.

Alyssa, describe your role at GJM: I will be working closely with Amy McCurdy to assist the Tax Department

When did you start at GJM? I started work on August 6.

Why did you choose to work at Gilmore Jasion Mahler? I chose GJM because I was looking for a professional work environment that was evolving and growing. Growth, professionally and personally, in a workplace is very important to me and with the innovative and fun atmosphere at GJM I believe I will see growth in both areas!

What do you like best about accounting? I am honestly not very familiar with the field, however I am very eager and excited to learn more about the industry!

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? No, I am originally from Cincinnati! I moved to Toledo for college at the University of Toledo in 2010.

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? The scenery and the seasons! I love all the greenery and outdoor activities there are!

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience? Previously, I was a salon manager in Sylvania, which is obviously very different from public accounting, however I am excited to bring my skill set to the firm!

Do you have any pets, hobbies, family? My girlfriend, Amy, and I live in Toledo with our dog Pearl. My immediate family (parents and younger brother) still reside in a Cincinnati suburb.

How do you like to spend your free time? I like to spend my free time hanging out with friends and family, hang out with my dog, any outdoor activities (canoeing, kayaking, hiking), working out, cooking, and finding a good movie or TV show J  I also enjoy traveling and exploring new cities!

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? Currently no, however I interned through college at the Monroe Street Neighborhood Center and try to visit and volunteer when available. I am so excited that GJM offers opportunities to give back to the community.

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I played volleyball for 10 years and that I have traveled to Costa Rica, Turkey, and Greece!

Anything else you’d like to add? I am very excited to be part of the GJM and look forward to getting to know everyone!  

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.