SOURCE: Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

October 27, 2015 09:15 ET

Jackson Hewitt® Offers the Nearly 12% of Uninsured Americans 12 Tips to Avoid Tax Penalties and Enroll in a Healthcare Plan

Penalties for Not Having Health Insurance in 2016 Will Increase to $695 per Adult or 2.5% of Income

JERSEY CITY, NJ--(Marketwired - Oct 27, 2015) - As Open Enrollment begins November 1, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® encourages the 11.4% of uninsured Americans to avoid tax penalties and enroll in healthcare coverage for 2016. Through its partnerships with marketplace brokers DirectHealth® and GetInsured, individuals have the opportunity to enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan at local Jackson Hewitt® offices and select Walmart stores.

"Healthcare laws and the tax implications can be tough to navigate alone, and hardworking Americans might be missing out on money-saving tax credits, penalty exemptions or health insurance deductions," said Jackson Hewitt CEO David Prokupek.

To help set taxpayers up for a healthy 2016, both personally and financially, Jackson Hewitt is providing 12 tips to navigate the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Understand the Penalties

1. If you were uninsured for all or part of 2015, you may face a penalty on your upcoming tax return. However, some Americans may qualify for an exemption, which would allow them to avoid the tax penalty.
2. The penalty for being uninsured in 2015 has more than doubled, increasing from $95 per adult to $325 per adult, $162.50 per child or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater.
3. The penalty for not having health insurance in 2016 will increase to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater.

Understand the Exemptions, Credits and Deductions

4. There are over 30 tax penalty exemptions available for qualifying individuals. A visit to a tax professional can help identify those exemptions which may totally eliminate the penalty, or help identify other credits.
5. Don't wait to file your 2015 tax return to apply for exemptions. Some, like the various Hardship Exemptions, are only available through the health insurance Marketplace and are not part of your standard tax return.
6. You may qualify for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit, which pays all or part of your premium directly to the insurance company each month. This credit can reduce, or even eliminate, the cost of health insurance premiums. Nearly 87% of marketplace customers qualified for money-saving tax credits in 2015.
7. Self-employed individuals can deduct the cost of health insurance premiums directly from federal tax returns.

Understand the Dates and How You Can Enroll

8. There is a deadline to enroll. In order to avoid a tax penalty for 2016, all taxpayers must enroll in a health insurance plan between November 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016.
9. Available now in select Walmart stores, DirectHealth is working with Jackson Hewitt to staff licensed insurance agents to help customers navigate available plans in the federal and state-based health insurance marketplaces.
10. Available now in any of Jackson Hewitt's neighborhood locations, clients can go through a proprietary Accelerator program and receive help with health insurance and Medicaid/CHIP applications.
11. Children have an option to stay on a parent's insurance plan until their 26th birthday.

Understand Your Limitations

12. Talking to a tax professional now could save you money when filing this year and next.

To receive tax help or understand health care options from GetInsured and DirectHealth.com, visit your local Jackson Hewitt location or www.jacksonhewitt.com.

About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is the fastest growing full-service tax preparation company with approximately 6,300 franchised and company-owned locations including nearly 3,000 locations in Walmart stores. Jackson Hewitt provides online and mobile tax filing solutions for the "do-it-yourself" marketplace at www.JacksonHewittOnline.com. At Jackson Hewitt, we stand behind our professional tax preparers with our Maximum Refund and 100% Accuracy Guarantees. For more information about products, services and offers, or to locate your neighborhood Jackson Hewitt office, visit www.JacksonHewitt.com or call 1 (800) 234-1040.

About DirectHealth
DirectHealth is an online, phone and in-store (Walmart) health insurance comparison service and licensed health insurance agency. The DirectHealth website is operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC, which is also the agency licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states on behalf of DirectHealth. For more information, please visit www.DirectHealth.com.

About GetInsured
GetInsured is a cloud-based health insurance exchange platform that combines modern technology and customer service capabilities to make health insurance shopping easy and efficient. Since its founding in 2005, GetInsured has helped millions of consumers find the right health plan for their needs and budgets. GetInsured is approved by the federal government to enroll Americans in subsidized health insurance plans, and also provides state governments and employers with SaaS-based technology solutions for public and private health insurance exchanges. For more information, please visit www.GetInsured.com.

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