This post was written by Ferd H. Mitchell and Cheryl C. Mitchell, Thomson Reuters authors and attorney partners at Mitchell Law Office in Spokane, WA

Income tax filings for 2015 are being affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Everyone who received a subsidy through a Health Benefit Exchange during 2014 must now complete IRS Form 1040, and file new Form 8962. This will force many people to seek assistance, from tax preparers and attorneys.

Form 8962 is used to reconcile actual income received last year with the estimated amount that was used to calculate a 2014 subsidy. This comparison can be quite complicated.

In addition, new Form 8965 must be completed by those who wish to be considered for an exemption, instead of having to pay a penalty for not having health insurance. Those without insurance in 2014 will have to pay a penalty when they file. The penalty goes up for 2015.

These new tax filing requirements are part of the indirect costs of the ACA that are being experienced by those receiving assistance—and those without insurance.

The health law group at Thomson Reuters is providing information and suggestions that will help attorneys prepare to help clients. Background information on related activities is available in two health practice books for attorneys, published by Thomson Reuters, as described on the ACA Blog at http://www.legalpracticehome.com/. In addition, twice-monthly postings may be found on the Legal Solutions blog under the tag “The ACA and legal practices.”

Ferd H. Mitchell and his wife, Cheryl, are attorney partners at Mitchell Law Office in Spokane, WA. They are active in elder law and health law practice areas. They have been working together on programs and activities on behalf of the elderly and in health care for over 25 years. During their studies, they have visited and evaluated the health care systems of Japan and several countries in Europe to learn how the needs of the elderly are assessed and met in other countries, and they have been better able to understand the U.S. health care system and related care issues from these visits.