Compared with last year, when the Affordable Care Act took effect, there are relatively few major changes to income taxes this year. But like 2014, the two biggest changes for 2015 tax filing come thanks to Obamacare. The first is an increase in the penalty for not having health insurance. When they file returns this year, taxpayers who didn’t have proper insurance coverage in 2014 will pay a fine of 1 percent of their household income or $95 per household member (whichever was higher). If you aren’t insured for 2015, the fine on your 2015 returns will jump up to 2 percent of household income, or $325 per person. If you want to avoid getting socked with serious fines in the future (over $1,200 for a family of four) the deadline to sign up for coverage this year is February 2015.
The second big change is the debut of the premium tax credit (PTC), a refund available to families who get their health coverage through state-run exchanges. You qualify, generally, if your household income is between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty line and you don’t have access to an employee-sponsored health plan. The amount of the credit varies, but you can either claim it with your insurance company to lower your monthly premiums, or you can claim it on your yearly tax return.