Start of mandatory healthcare has made for messy tax season

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Income tax returns for 2014 are due four weeks from today. The Affordable Care Act has caused this to be an unusual season not only for taxpayers, but for tax professionals.

Everyone filing a return has to make a statement about whether or not they’re covered under Obamacare and how that coverage is provided. If you’re not covered, you may have a tax penalty. staff members also said a few weeks ago that they sent out quite a few incorrect forms, which many taxpayers filled out.

“And now we are getting the corrected forms coming in,” H&R Block tax advisor Pat Brennan said. “What we’ve discovered is that many of those require the folks to go through an amendment process in their tax returns, but surprisingly, it doesn’t make very much difference in the taxes they’re paying.”

There isn’t much to worry about if you’re procrastinating. Waiting until the last minute won’t affect how quickly you get your refund. It should come two to three weeks after the IRS accepts your return, whenever that is.

“What we have going through us right now are those returns which are more complex, which have presented problems to people that they were reluctant to face up to, and of course those which require balances due, and folks put that off to the last,” Brennan said.

Brennan says Obamacare tax penalties have been applicable for about 15% of the people that have come to him for tax help. A tax professional can often find exemptions to those penalties.