Nurses Recommend Nurse to Patient Ratios

We as a country spend a lot of our federal tax dollars on medical care. Medicare, medicaid and the  affordable care act (Obamacare) are large parts of that spending.

Much of that care money is spent on the hard work that our country’s nurses provide. But they are human beings and not robots in an assembly line. There is a physical limit to what they can do to deliver optimal care to patients.

The image above is their recommendation on what the nurse to patient ratio should look like. Here is what they further say:

National Nurses United(NNU) — the largest union of registered nurses in the country — is proud to announce the introduction today in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (S.1063) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (H.R. 2392) NNU-sponsored legislation setting specific safety limits on the numbers of patients each RN can care for in hospitals throughout the U.S.

The bills, both known as the Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act, establish minimum RN-to-patient ratios for every hospital unit at all times. They also provide whistleblower protection to assure that nurses are free to speak out for enforcement of safe staffing standards.

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Average Tax Prep Fee Inches Up to $273 (REPOST FROM ACCOUNTING TODAY)

REPOST FROM ACCOUNTING TODAY:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (JANUARY 14, 2015)

The average fee for preparing a tax return, including an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return, will increase a few dollars to $273 this year, a 4.6 percent increase over the average fee of $261 last year, according to a survey by the National Society of Accountants.

The figure also represents an 11 percent increase from two years ago when the survey was conducted.

The average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state return this season without itemized deductions is expected to be $159, also a 4.6 percent increase over the average fee last year, which was $152. It is an 11.2 percent increase from two years ago.

“When you consider that it takes the average taxpayer five hours to complete a tax return, this is a very strong value,” said NSA executive vice president John Ams in a statement. “The tax code continues to become more complex each year, including some new Affordable Care Act reporting requirements. Professional tax preparers may also be able to find tax deductions and credits that may taxpayers might not notice.”

The NSA collected the fee information during a survey of preparers. The tax and accounting firms surveyed are owners, principals, and partners of local “Main Street” tax and accounting practices who have an average of more than 27 years of experience.

NSA member tax preparers typically hold multiple credentials that demonstrate their expertise, including Enrolled Agent, CPA, Accredited Tax Preparer, Accredited Tax Advisor, and others.

The survey also reported the average fees for preparing additional Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms, including $174 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (business), $634 for a Form 1065 (partnership), $817 for a Form 1120 (corporation), $778 for a Form 1120S (S corporation), $457 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary), $688 for a Form 990 (tax exempt), $68 for a Form 940 (Federal unemployment), $115 for Schedule D (gains and losses), $126 for Schedule E (rental) and $158 for Schedule F (farm).

The NSA noted that the fees vary by region, firm size, population, and economic strength of an area.

The average tax preparation fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return in each U.S. census district are:

•    New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) – $246
•    Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) – $314
•    South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) – $268
•    East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) – $262
•    West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) – $205
•    East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) – $240
•    West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) – $198
•    Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) – $256
•    Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) – $348

Most accounting firms offer prospective clients a free consultation, the NSA pointed out, which can be worth well over $100 based on the hourly fees of most tax preparers.

All the fees cited assume a taxpayer has gathered and organized all the necessary information.

Taxpayers should also make sure they provide information on time to avoid additional fees, the NSA noted. Many tax preparers will charge an average fee of $114 for dealing with disorganized or incomplete files.

Some will charge an average fee of $42 to file an extension, an average fee of $88 to expedite a return, and an average fee of $93 if information is not provided in advance of an agreed-upon deadline. For taxpayers who are audited by the IRS, the average hourly fee to handle the audit is $144.

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Tax Returns, Obamacare & You

obamacare-logo_fullThis is the first year that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will impact tax returns for Americans. Starting in mid January, the IRS and many taxpayers will start to receive information about their health coverage for 2014. They’ll need that information to correctly file their tax return for 2014.

Here are some of the forms they should expect to receive:

1095 – A – This form will be received by anyone that purchased insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This form will show details about the insurance coverage including the effective date, amount of premium and the advance premium tax credit.

1095 – B – This form may be provided by private insurers and self funded plans to their policyholders. It summarizes the coverage the policyholder had with them for the year.

1095 – CEmployers may provide this form which provides information about a taxpayer’s health insurance plan and who was covered.

It is worth noting that because this is a transition period that forms 1095-B and 1095-C are not required for 2014 tax year.

 

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