April 15, 2015, is the deadline to file your 2014 tax returns, and right now, a lot of people are getting their paperwork in order.
So what’s new this year? One big change is a question about whether you have health insurance.
“We’re all familiar with the Obama health care and parts of it have been phased in over the past few years and for this specific piece, hopefully for most of us we’ll be able to answer ‘yes,'” said Kim Jones, a certified public accountant with Accuity LLC.
If you answer “no,” you may end up having to pay a penalty or claim an exemption.
When it comes to tax credits, if in 2014 you had health care coverage that you got through the health care exchange, you may qualify depending on your circumstances for a credit or refund for part of that,” Jones said.
Another common tax credit is the earned income credit, or EIC, for those in a lower tax bracket.
And if you installed a photovoltaic system this past year, you may qualify for a 30 percent federal credit and a 35 percent state credit.
“The great thing about that credit is it stacks. You get both the federal credit and the Hawaii credit on top of each other,” Jones explained.
If you haven’t done your taxes yet, you may be asking yourself: paper or electronic? The IRS says about 80 percent of people now file their return electronically.
“If you’re expecting a refund then it’s much much faster to electronically file your return and then have your refund direct deposited into your account,” Jones said.
So before you file, avoid these common mistakes:
- Be sure your Social Security number is on your forms,
- Double-check your math,
- Attach your W-2 forms, and
- Make sure you sign your return.
If you have any questions about your taxes, Action Line is here to help. Our Action Line Tax Days 2015 runs from Tuesday, March 24, to Friday, March 27.
From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. the following people will be answering the phone lines (Note: the phone number changes from Tuesday to Wednesday):
- Wednesday: Hawaii Department of Taxation, call 591-6399.
- Thursday: Internal Revenue Service, call 591-6399.
- Friday: Hawaii Society of Certified Public Accountants, call 591-6399.