As 2014 nears its close, Americans without insurance are running out of time to avoid the significant ObamaCare penalties that are scheduled to hit in 2016. The deadline to avoid the penalties is February 15, 2015. Uninsured Americans will be faced with a fines of $325 per adult or two percent of family income, whichever is higher. But whether the IRS will be able to effectively enforce the individual mandate remains to be seen.
The Hill noted that the fines in 2016 will be significantly higher than in 2015, when uninsured Americans are due to pay either $95 per adult or one percent of family income this tax season. Under the second year enrollment rules, families without insurance could owe as much as $1,000, possibly more.
Meanwhile, a number of Americans are unaware that they will even have to report their insured status on their 2014 tax returns, according to a TurboTax survey released earlier this month.
The Hill observed that the looming deadline is compelling some Americans to turn to the exchanges before they’re closed, while insurance companies are using the deadline as a means to drive in customers.
Americans who purchase health insurance through their employers should have a relatively easy time filing taxes, but those who purchased insurance on the open market will have to complete an IRS Form 8965 that entails pages and pages of instructions.
And because of the complications involved in this process, tax preparation companies are working to win over customers by touting themselves as experts in navigating ObamaCare rules and capitalizing on Americans’ fears about the penalties. Jackson Hewitt’s marketing strategies involve assuring its customers that employees at Jackson Hewitt “work harder to keep up with the latest tax law changes to protect you from possible penalties — not everyone else does.”