The end of the year means that the 2015 tax season is almost upon us! The largest change that consumers can expect to see this year has to do with the Affordable Care Act. We spoke with H&R Block tax expert and spokesperson Richard Gartland about what we can expect this tax season.
The Affordable Care Act, the biggest change to the tax code in almost 20 years, is mainly going to affect two groups of people: those who applied for health care through the marketplace this year and people who had no health coverage. Gartland says there may be new or additional forms to fill out these year for these two categories of people.
H&R Block will be helping taxpayers out this year by offering a free personalized tax analysis on January 8th at all of their locations. "The biggest thing for people to do is come into the free day because the Affordable Care Act is likely to impact a lot of people," Gartland says.
Advice Going Forward
As 2015 begins, Gartland recommends taxpayers look at their charitable deductions and portfolio to make sure they have the best options going into tax season. He also has a few strategies to share going into 2015.
"If they’re not covered, they should get covered," Gartland says of those without health insurance. There are tax penalties in place for folks who opted out of health coverage this year and in the years to come.
"It’s also a good time to look at your W4. See if there’s any changes to your withholding," he says. This applies largely to anyone who had a major life change such as marriage, the birth of a child, or sending kids to college.
Mistakes to Avoid
Gartland says the costliest mistakes usually come from consumers who file their own taxes.
"We found last year that about 50 percent of people who did their own taxes had some kind of error," he says. This usually comes as a credit people don’t claim or are not taking advantage of.
"This is likely to be a complicated year," Gartland says. For those who still want to tackle their own taxes, H&R Block has some DIY products available on their website, such as free chat and email. You can also check out H&R Block’s web page devoted to help with the Affordable Care Act here.