The IRS has announced the on-time opening of its 2015 tax season touting online services including issues related to health care as implemented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148). The IRS expects that more than four of five returns will be filed electronically, and it will begin accepting and processing all tax returns beginning on Tuesday, January 20. The IRS’s Free File program begins on January 16, and it offers brand-name software to individuals and families with income less than $60,000, or online fill-in forms available to taxpayers at all income levels.
Taxpayers are encouraged to use online services for information concerning health care basics. The PPACA P.L. 111-148 requires that taxpayers and members of their family either have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, qualify for an exemption, or make individual shared responsibility payments at the time they file their returns. Most taxpayers will be able to check one new box on their tax returns to indicate each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year. Taxpayers who received advance payments of the premium tax credit have a filing requirement and need to use Form 8962 to reconcile the advance payments with the premium tax credit to which they are entitled. Low-and moderate-income taxpayers may be able to get help with their health care requirement and filing their returns by visiting community-based tax help sites in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) programs. The IRS recommends that taxpayers have received all their year-end statements before they file their returns. Included are Forms W-2 from employers, various 1099 forms from banks and other payers, and Form 1095-A from the Marketplace for those taxpayers claiming the premium tax credit.