Millions of Americans and legal residents are eligible for exemptions to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but many still have not completed the necessary application to receive these exemptions. Liberty Tax Service wants to encourage them to apply before tax season opens by offering exemption application assistance free of charge.
“We know the healthcare law is still very new and complex to taxpayers,” said Chuck Lovelace, vice president of ACA for Liberty Tax Service. “We want to help them understand how the law will affect them and their taxes. It’s best to do that now rather than wait until tax time. That’s why we will open many of our offices this Saturday and keep them open until tax season ends.”
By obtaining an exemption an individual could reduce his or her tax burden this year, the first year in which the healthcare law has tax consequences.
ACA requires all Americans and legal residents to have health insurance, have an exemption to obtaining coverage, or pay a penalty. Penalties for 2014 start at $95 but could reach almost $2,500 for an individual or more than $12,000 for a family with five or more members, based on taxable household income.
Exemptions are available for a wide range of reasons including, but not limited to, the following: religious objections, hardship, affordability of coverage, and incarceration. Some exemptions, such as those for hardship, require approval through the Health Insurance Marketplace, a process that takes approximately two weeks once applications are received. Some suggest the process will take longer once tax season arrives and that it may cause delays that last beyond April 15.
Along with exemptions, Liberty can help with other ACA issues, including reporting changes to the Health Insurance Marketplace and enrolling in health insurance. Liberty will open many of its offices this Saturday, the same day the Health Insurance Marketplace opens enrollment, in an effort to get taxpayers thinking now about the law and how it will affect their taxes. Many Liberty offices will also have insurance agents available who can help taxpayers enroll in health insurance plans.
Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, Liberty Tax, Inc. (NASDAQ: TAX) is the parent company of Liberty Tax Service. Liberty Tax is one of the fastest-growing tax preparation franchises and has prepared almost 18 million individual income tax returns in more than 4,400 offices and online. Liberty Tax’s online services are available through eSmart Tax, Liberty Online and DIY Tax, and are all backed by the tax professionals at Liberty Tax locations and its nationwide network of approximately 35,000 seasonal tax preparers. Liberty Tax also supports local communities with fundraising endeavors and contributes as a national sponsor for many charitable causes.
Contact Liberty Tax for more information about franchise opportunities.