Every year, millions of taxpayers prepare their paperwork to pay their dues to the government. The lucky ones will find themselves with a nice fat check in a few weeks but others will discover that they're going to have to pay for their lack of due diligence in the past year. Whichever category you find yourself in, you'll have to start the process by reading the new Form 1040 instructions for the tax year.
Some people feel that since they have been filing taxes for many years that they can get by without any instructions, and that could be true if the tax laws remained the same year after year. But in reality, just like the economy is in a constant state of flux so are your taxes. This means that when it comes to filing taxes, it should always be your first step to read the Form 1040 instructions in order to make sure there haven't been any changes in possible deductions, allowances, or tax monies owed.
As it turns out, there are several new additions to this years tax forms that may have an affect on how you file your taxes.
What's New in Tax Forms
There are several new additions to your 1040 form that you should be aware of. One of the first has to do with reporting your health care coverage. By law every citizen is expected to file for some type of health insurance policy and it is to be reported on your tax form. To properly report this you will have to attach a 1095-A, B, or C form that lists all the individuals in your family who have been enrolled under the policy. You can acquire this form from the insurance provider and input the information on line 61 on your 1040 taxes. If your insurance is provided through your employer then they should send you the 1095 Form along with your end of year earnings statement.
Many will also be glad to know that the health insurance tax credit has been reinstated effective January 2014, and you can claim the credit on this years tax returns. To see if you qualify to claim this credit, you should consult the Form 1040 instructions for the years 2014 and 2015 or visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/HCTC. You can also consult the instructions for the IRS Form 8885 to find out what you need to do to claim that credit.
Be aware that if you did not have any health care coverage for the filing year you might find that your tax responsibility for this year's taxes could be quite high. Unless you can give a reasonable explanation that fits in with the new IRS requirements you might find yourself paying a relatively hefty penalty.
It's important to understand that each year the tax liabilities and requirements can change, so even though you have been filing your taxes for many years, each year is like the first time. By taking the time to properly read the Form 1040 instructions you can take advantage of new perks and avoid paying an expensive liability that could hurt you in the end.