LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The most anticipated benefit of tax season is the potential opportunity for a refund, and for those looking to maximize that refund, there is one new fine you need to be aware of.
The 2014 tax season is the first season in which Obamacare could affect your tax refund.
For those who are not enrolled under the Affordable Care Act, you will have to pay a fee.
Lufkin CPA Trudy Patrick has the exact numbers for these fines.
"It's $95 for adults and $47.50 per child," Patrick said. "If you don't have it you're going to have to pay the fine, and it's like one-twelfth of what insurance would have cost you per month."
For those looking to sign up for Obamacare before completing their tax forms, Patrick explains the window of opportunity may have already passed.
"There's an Obamacare window when you can actually get the insurance, so if you've missed that, you'll have to pay the fine," Patrick said. "It's not anything they can put a lien on you for. All they can do is hold the fee. Whatever the tax is imposed upon you, they hold that from your refund."
Patrick also stressed that these fines are unique in that they are not an annual fee.
"It's not based on the whole year, its based on a month-by-month basis," Patrick said.
Fines for 2014 have a $285 cap per family, and for 2015 those fines nearly triple.
Next year, families without health insurance can expect to pay $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, with a cap of $975 per family, which could almost eliminate the opportunity of refund for many.
In regard to refunds, about how long is the turnaround expected to be?
"Right now they are estimating up to 21 days for refunds, when in the past its been anywhere up to two weeks," Patrick said
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