(WOIO) - There's a big change in tax rules this year and it could affect how much money you do or don't get from the government. Here's what the
-- or what some refer to as Obamacare -- means for your tax return.
The phones have been ringing a lot more at
locations around the country. It's people very confused about how the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, will affect their tax return.
"It's the biggest tax change we've seen in more than a decade."
That big change is prompting local tax preparers to school themselves on the new rules.
"IRS courses, H&R Block courses, and studying and learning the law of the Affordable Care Act," says Kristi LeTourneau, of H&R Block.
"We're reading everything we can get our hands on. Searching the Internet. Trying to learn everything we can about the credit and how it's going to be calculated," says David Neal, a tax specialist.
All of us, regardless of whether we signed up for health insurance through the exchange will see something new on the form this year. You'll be asked if you signed up for the government's insurance, or if you got insurance somewhere else. The change comes for those who did sign up with the government.
"They need to know that they're going to get a form. A 1095A that needs to be brought in to have their taxes done," says LeTourneau.
The form itself is relatively straightforward. You simply fill in the answers. But it gets complicated when your answers have changed over the past year.
"They may have had family changes during the year. They got married or divorced. Their income may have changed during the year," explains Neal.
Most people who signed up for coverage through the ACA will get a tax credit based on estimated income. If that doesn't match your actual income, though, you could actually owe the government money.
"If they underestimated their income, they get to pay back some of that credit that was given to them, on top of possibly paying a penalty if they did not have enough insurance coverage," warns LeTourneau.
On the other hand, if you overestimated, you could be getting money back.
If you didn't have insurance at all this year, be prepared to pay the penalty. It's $95 per person, or 1 percent of your modified adjusted gross income, whichever is greater.
Click here for more information on the tax implications of the ACA. Still, you might want to consider speaking with a tax expert, so you don't get any surprises.