This tax season, TurboTax tax experts have fielded thousands of questions from taxpayers. Some questions show up every year, but several new topics are on taxpayers’ minds. With only a few weeks left to file your 2014 taxes, we wanted to share 5 of the top tax questions and answers to help you make it over the finish line.
Do I need to report my health care coverage on my taxes?
Yes. For the first time, you will be required to report your health care status when you file your taxes. For 9 out of 10 taxpayers who already have health insurance, reporting is as simple as checking a box with TurboTax.
If you purchased health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will see a new tax form called a Form 1095-A. This form will have details of your insurance like date of coverage, premiums, and the amount of your advanced premium tax credit if you received one to help you pay for health insurance. In TurboTax reporting your Marketplace insurance is easy. You will enter the info from the Form 1095-A just like they would a W-2.
If you were uninsured in 2014 you may be required to pay a penalty of $95 or up to 1% of your income, whichever is greater, but you may also be eligible for one of over 30 exemptions from the tax penalty.
If you did not purchase health insurance in 2014 and paid a tax penalty you may be able to take advantage of a new special enrollment period until April 30 to purchase 2015 health insurance and avoid a bigger penalty in 2015.
What is the Earned Income Credit and how is the amount determined?
The Earned Income Credit is a refundable tax credit given to taxpayers that earn low to moderate income from a job or being self-employed. Income and the number of qualifying children will determine the actual amount of the credit. For tax year 2014, the maximum credit can be as much as $6,143 for someone with three or more qualifying children.
Who Can I claim as My Dependent?
If you’re supporting someone who lives with you, you may be able to claim him or her as a dependent. Beyond the home, if you provide over half of the support for a family member, they may also count as a dependent. This ranges from nieces and nephews to stepparents and even in-laws. For every dependent you have, you can claim a dependent exemption on your federal income tax return worth $3,950 when you file your 2014 taxes this year.
I didn’t make much money last year – do I still need to file my taxes?
You should file a 2014 federal income tax return even if your total income is below the IRS filing requirement ($10,150 for individuals or $20,300 for married filing jointly under age 65). You need to file a tax return if you had any federal income tax withheld and especially if you’re eligible for refundable tax credits like the earned income tax credit. Every year, money is left on the table because people don’t think they need to file. The average unclaimed tax refund is close to $600, and it’s important to know that the IRS places a three-year window on claiming these past refunds.
In addition, if you make under the IRS filing requirement and may be exempt from purchasing health insurance and the tax penalty under ACA, you still have to file your taxes if you did purchase health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace and received an advanced premium tax credit since your actual premium tax credit gets reported on your taxes.
When Will I Get My Refund?
Like last year, the IRS expects to issue 9 out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days for those who e-filed with direct deposit. E-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund. For paper-filers, the process does take more time.
Once you have e-filed your tax return, you can check the status of your tax refund by using the IRS Where’s My Refund? tool
Remember there’s only a few weeks left to file your taxes. You can go online and easily file with TurboTax and if you have any questions you can get them answered by TurboTax tax experts who are CPAs and Enrolled Agents.