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Tax Tips for Procrastinators: The Top 8 Last-Minute Filing Blunders

Taxes are due - filing tipsHaste makes waste: It's an adage that best describes the fate that often befalls last-minute taxpayers, who, in a mad dash to meet the IRS deadline, make filing flubs that result in smaller refund checks or shelling out more to the government than they owe.

If you're among those last-minute filers, first, take a breath. Then take note of eight common filing mistakes to avoid.

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What Are the Tax Penalties for Smokers?

Starting in 2014, the Individual Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act made you responsible for having minimum essential coverage, or MEC, in health insurance. Otherwise, you need to be eligible for a health care exemption, or you could pay a penalty when filing your income tax return. This requirement for minimum essential coverage applies to smokers and nonsmokers alike. If you're not covered by an employer's health plan and are a smoker, you can go to the health care marketplace to find MEC. If you're still unable to comply, you may have a penalty applied.

5 Steps to Navigate the Healthcare Marketplaces

To navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace, you have to know what you want from a health plan. Have your previous plan handy to make comparisons, as well as household and income information. If this is your first health plan, be aware of your needs and know your tax situation. Eligibility depends on the size of your family and combined income from all sources.

What Is Form 8941: Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums

Small business owners who subsidize the cost of employee health insurance premiums may be able to get some of that money back by claiming the credit for small employer health insurance premiums on their taxes. Some of the eligibility requirements, however, limit the number of people a business can employ and the average annual wages they earn. Qualifying as a small employer can reduce your tax bill by the amount of the credit you report on Form 8941.

What Is Form 8911: Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit

In light of rising gasoline prices and environmental concerns, consumers have become more receptive to buying cars and trucks that run on types of fuel other than gasoline. The U.S. government introduced a tax incentive to encourage the installation of facilities to store or dispense alternative fuels in 1992. That incentive has evolved into a tax credit that also applies to equipment that recharges electric cars. If you equipped your home or business to accommodate alternative fuel vehicles, you may be able to use Form 8911: Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit to reduce your federal tax obligation.

What Is Form 8885: Health Coverage Tax Credit

The health coverage tax credit is a program in place for tax years from 2002 to 2013 to help eligible individuals and families by paying a portion of premiums for qualified health insurance programs. Since the legislation authorizing the credit expired in January 2014, tax returns filed in 2014 for the 2013 tax year represent the last time eligible taxpayers can claim the credit.

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What's the difference between head of household & claiming a child as a dependent who does not live w/you?

April 17 2012 at 1:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is aol going to find a new source for news. I heard they were giving the Ax to Huffington Post. Has anyone else heard that?

April 16 2012 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 16 2012 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obvious barrelman1 has not looked at the following Buffet link:

April 16 2012 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't worry if Obama gets re elected we are all done anyway!

April 16 2012 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Struggling for stories are we, AOL? Let me sum up this article for anyone that hasn't read it yet: Don't make mistakes. There you go, now I'm qualified to write news for AOL / Yahoo / Huffpost!

April 16 2012 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A vote for OB is a vote for NO B

April 16 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We at Inland Valley Income tax would love to do your Taxes!!!!!!!!! call us we'd love to beat the dead line for you

Thank you ...951-684-1150

April 16 2012 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 16 2012 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Understand, sometimes it is best in the long run to leave out a deduction or two. If you are middling folk, small business and can't afford to be lawyered up to the max, then leaving out a deduction or two out, when audited comes in handy, I have been audited and being able to come back with those additional deductions saves me time and headache when I have been audited. Not a crime to over pay, but it is a crime to underpay.
Just a thought!

April 16 2012 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply