The H&R Block tax office in West Union presented a $1,000 check Monday to Jeff and Robin Young of Blue Creek. The Youngs are the third winner of the tax preparer’s “1,000 Win $1,000 Daily” sweepstakes.
“Our winner today has a particularly compelling story of a rather difficult past 12 months after they lost their home in a December 2014 fire,” said Jeff Newman, CPA, “This $1,000 will give them a much needed boost in their financial recovery.”
The Youngs, who are in the process of closing on their new home were thrilled at their fortune.
Jeff, a 12-year employee of Walmart in West Union said, “It was really a surprise when they called us.”
The Young have four children, two of which are still at home. “This is really going to be a big help with the bills and final inspection costs for our new home,” said Robin, a stay home mom. “I’ve never won this much money before, this is so exciting.”
The H&R Block sweepstakes has given away $1,000,000 a day since Jan. 16. A total of 32,000 people will win a combined total of $32,000,000. The sweepstakes will continue until Feb. 15, with the last drawing being held on Feb. 19.
Anyone who has their taxes prepared at an H&R Block office is eligible to enter the daily drawing. For more information including rules and other ways to enter, go to hrblock.com/grand.
H&R Block is the world’s largest consumer tax preparation company. Newman, the owner of the West Union H&R office, explains there are three specific things that tax payers should be aware of during the 2016 tax season.
First, that fraud is a growing concern and likely could get worse this coming tax season. Taxpayer can protect themselves by filing early. According to Newman, “H&R has introduced the first tax identity protection service specific to tax identity fraud, the Tax Identity Shield, which provides clients with tools to reduce the risk of tax identity theft, as well as resolution services if a client becomes a victim of tax identify theft.”
The second thing taxpayers should be aware of is that the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to document their health insurance coverage. “Taxes are now about health insurance, too,” said Newman, “For taxpayers without health insurance it is important to know that the penalty has basically doubled. For a family of 4 earning $60k a year, the penalty will be approximately $975. And it will go up again to $2,000 next year.”
For those who don’t have insurance, there is a way to avoid the penalty and that is to qualify and apply for one of a dozen or so exemptions. Compliance efforts are now twice as stringent as everyone who has health insurance will receive a 1095 information document that indicates their insurance, thus giving the IRS another avenue to verify the taxpayer’s status.
Thirdly, Newman invites everyone to visit their West Union office and enter to become their fourth $1,000 winner.
“Anyone who does their taxes at an H&R Block office is entered in the drawing to win,” Newman said, “Once your name is entered, you can win any time until Feb. 15.”