The main Obamacare-related tax or penalty facing potentially millions of people is not due until next year, but avoiding it will require action before the end of this tax season.
Under the ACA, most people are required to have obtained some form of coverage by March 31 or face a tax penalty when they file next year. That penalty is $95 a person (and up to $285 for a family) or 1 percent of AGI above $20,400 for a family, whichever is higher. It is deducted from any refund owed by the IRS.
Brian Haile, senior vice president for health care policy at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, said that many clients erroneously believe the penalty is only $95 per adult and $47.50 per child.
When he tells clients that if they make $100,000 a year they will owe more than $700 for going without insurance, he said, "They say, 'You're kidding me!' "
Haile said most people are also unaware that they must update the federal government this year if they are receiving subsidies to offset the cost of insurance premiums bought on a health-care exchange and the size of their household changes—for example, from a birth, a child turning 21, a marriage or a divorce.
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The reason is that subsidy amounts are based on household size, and if it shrinks during the year but you still receive the same amounts, you may owe the IRS to rebate the excess subsidy when you file next year.