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Affordable Care Act may bring some changes to filing your 2014 taxes

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The Affordable Care Act may bring some changes to filing your 2014 taxes.

2015 is the first year those without insurance or who enrolled in the Marketplace past the deadline will face some penalties.

"Can't afford the insurance, can't afford the penalty," said Sheresa Nowell, taxpayer.

Nowell says she will not have health insurance for a small portion of this year and is afraid of the possible penalties she may face.

"For lower income people, you have to worry about not having enough money for your bills, and then you're going to have a penalty because you can't afford insurance that's supposed to be affordable," Nowell said.

For the uninsured, this year's tax penalties could hit hard.

"The penalties will be the greater of one percent of your income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child in your household," said Crystal Endicott, tax adviser at H&R Block in Webb City, MO.

And those who enrolled in a plan past the deadline also face penalties.

"That penalty will be determined based on how many months you didn't have insurance," Endicott said.

If you received assistance from the Marketplace in paying for your insurance this year, there might be even more paperwork involved. 

For example, if you received a pay raise since getting that assistance, the Marketplace might now ask you to pay some of that back.

"That's a life change," Endicott said. "That changed your income dramatically possibly, and the Marketplace will want to reconcile the help they gave you throughout the year."

Exemptions are a possibility.

"There is going to be one for hardships, such as if your electricity was shut off or an illness," Endicott said.

Nowell is hopeful she might qualify for an exemption, but is not looking forward to the paperwork.

"It's very time consuming and not very fun for anybody," she said.

However, Endicott says the exemptions are worth the effort.

"Before you get really scared, there just might be a way to help," she said.

All H&R block locations in the Joplin area will be offering free walk-in assistance this Thursday for anyone with further questions regarding the Affordable Care Act penalties or exemptions.
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