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3 On Your Side: Tax Preparers Warn Customers Of Big Changes That Could Affect Tax Returns This Year

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Tax preparers across the country are warning customers of big changes that could affect tax returns this year and whether you owe or will get money back.

3 On Your Side's Jim Donovan explains that is has to do with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act last year.

"I think this year is gonna be a nightmare for people, either preparing their own returns or a nightmare for tax preparers because people just don't understand the ramifications of the affordable care act on their taxes," said CPA Tim Hughes with Rosenfelt, Siegel & Goldberg.

Hughes says people who didn't have any health insurance coverage in 2014 will end up owing Uncle Sam.

"There could be hefty fees this year.  It's not just the $95.  It could be more than that," said Hughes.

The tax penalty for not having insurance last year is $95 or one percent of your household income, whichever is more. Unless you were eligible for an exemption.

"There's a whole list of things that would exempt you, but they're not easy to qualify for," said Hughes.

If you signed up for insurance on and received a subsidy that lowered your monthly premium, hopefully you estimated your income accurately.

"If you're income is significantly more than what you estimated when you went on you will be paying back the subsidy that you accepted," said Hughes.

However, if you overestimated your income, you might be getting money back.

In any event, if you don't have a good understanding of the new forms, subsidies or exemptions it might be a good idea to get help filing your taxes this year.

"A preparer could could walk you through ask you the questions that you need to know," said Hughes.

If you're still are holding out on getting health coverage for this year, the penalties go up.   Anyone without coverage as of February 15th will face a penalty of $325 per person or two percent of your income.  You'll deal with that in next year's return.




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