The Affordable Care Act is designed to ensure everyone has health
insurance and imposes tax penalties on those who don’t. But the law
recognizes there are legitimate reasons people may be exempt from this
rule. In fact, an estimated 20 million Americans may qualify to waive
the tax penalty this year.
To help taxpayers without health care coverage learn whether they
qualify to avoid the penalty, Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq:INTU) is providing the
free TurboTax® Exemption
Check. This new online service lets anyone without insurance
determine, in just a few minutes, if they may be eligible to waive the
health care tax penalty.
For Don West of Austin, Texas, 2014 has been a challenging year. Out of
work and unable to pay mounting medical bills, he couldn’t afford
insurance or won’t be able to pay the penalty for being uninsured.
“I wasn’t even aware that getting an exemption was an option. It was
lucky that I found TurboTax Exemption Check because I was between a rock
and a hard place,” said West. “It turns out, I just needed to answer a
few simple questions and because I had unpaid medical bills, I was
eligible to apply for an exemption from the fine.”
TurboTax already helps taxpayers
sign up for health care they can afford. And for those who may qualify,
TurboTax Exemption Check makes it simple to apply for a penalty
exemption. By answering a few questions about themselves and their
family, users quickly see if they may be eligible for one or more
exemptions. TurboTax Exemption Check guides them through completing the
application and files it for them, speeding the process. Users receive
an email alert when their application has been submitted.
For uninsured taxpayers, using TurboTax Exemption Check now to determine
whether they qualify for an exemption is a smart decision. It will
ensure they have the right tax forms come tax time, speed up their tax
preparation so they get their refund faster and make sure that some of
their refund doesn't go toward paying the penalty for not having health
“Exemption Check provides a simple, free way for hard working Americans
without health insurance to determine if they’re eligible to waive the
tax penalty. It’s a vital service we’re proud to offer consumers,” said
Sacha Adam, the Affordable Care Act product leader for TurboTax. “Its
one more way TurboTax is simplifying the Affordable Care Act,
translating the tax code into easy-to-answer questions that give people
the confidence to navigate the new health care law and empower them to
make the right choices for themselves and their families.”
Many Ways to Qualify
Currently, there are about 30 reasons someone may be exempt from the
penalty for not having health insurance. Those who have medical expenses
they couldn’t afford don’t have to pay the penalty. Neither do some with
low incomes. For example, low-income individuals who aren’t required to
file an income tax return don’t have to pay the penalty.
According to data from TurboTax Exemption Check, the top five exemption
categories for which people are applying are:
1. Can’t afford health insurance; the lowest-priced coverage available
would cost more than 8 percent of their household income
2. Had difficulty signing up for health insurance through a state or
3. Had medical expenses they couldn’t pay in the last 24 months that
resulted in substantial debt
4. Had an individual insurance plan cancelled, and believe other
marketplace plans are unaffordable
5. Received a shut off notice from a utility company
Exemptions are also available because of homelessness, eviction,
foreclosure, bankruptcy, the death of a close family member or an
experience with domestic violence. Members of Native American tribes
also are not required to sign up for health insurance. Taxpayers can
claim certain exemptions on their 2014 tax return when they file in 2015.
For more information, visit the TurboTax
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. creates business and
financial management solutions that simplify the business of life for
small businesses, consumers and accounting professionals.
Its flagship products and services include QuickBooks®,
and TurboTax®, which make it
easier to manage small businesses
and payroll processing, personal
finance, and tax preparation
and filing. Mint.com provides a
fresh, easy and intelligent way for people to manage their money, while Demandforce®
offers marketing and communication tools for small businesses. ProSeries®
and Lacerte® are Intuit's
leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had revenue of $4.2 billion in its fiscal year
2014. The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices
in the United States, Canada,
the United Kingdom, India
and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.