Starting with the 2014 tax year, certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act will affect federal tax returns. The majority of taxpayers will simply need to check a box on their tax return to report health coverage for everyone on their return for all of 2014.
Some need to indicate that they’re eligible for an exemption from maintaining coverage. And others will have to calculate their shared responsibility payment and add it to their tax return.
The IRS has several options to help you file your tax return when the tax filing season starts. Filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. Electronic Filing options include free Volunteer Assistance, IRS Free File, commercial software and professional assistance.
Each year millions of people have their tax returns prepared for free by volunteers. These volunteers are part of the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. The IRS sponsors both programs and works with community groups to train and certify volunteers.
Using VITA and TCE will help ensure your taxes are prepared accurately, including provisions related to the Affordable Care Act such as the premium tax credit and exemptions from coverage.
Most VITA are now open. You can visit IRS.gov/VITA to find the nearest VITA site, Search the word ’VITA’ and then click on “Free Tax Return Preparation for You by Volunteers.” Site information is also available by calling the IRS at 800-906-9887.
IRS Free File
IRS Free File offers easy-to-use software or online fillable forms. IRS Free File is a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance. The Alliance is a group of private-sector tax software companies that make their products available for free.
The only way to use IRS Free File is through the IRS website. Once you choose a Free File company, you’ll go to their website to prepare, print and e-file your tax return.
The question and answer format of Free File software will help you find tax breaks that you may be entitled to claim. The software selects the appropriate tax forms and does the calculations for you.
Taxpayers who earn $60,000 or less can use brand-name software. If you earned more than that, you can use Free File Fillable Forms. This option uses electronic versions of IRS paper forms.
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