Tips for Tax Season Already Underway

By Adam Chick

Tips for Tax Season Already Underway

January 16, 2013 Updated Jan 17, 2013 at 2:26 AM EDT

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Income reported on federal tax returns may be more important than ever to determining future tax fates.

By 2014, everyone should be enrolled in a healthcare plan, either through their employer, a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, or through an individual plan. You're 2012 tax return will determine if your income level makes you eligible for any subsidies.

It will also determine what the tax penalty is if you decline health insurance.

A tax preparer with H&R Block said this year it's more important to have a professional look over your return before it's sent in.

The tax penalty for declining to buy health insurance is $285 per family, or one percent of income. But there are exemptions in the law. So even people that aren't required to file a 2012 tax return might want to consider doing so this year.

"I think it would be a good idea this year. With all the changes to make sure you don't miss anything, you know that something did get extended or didn't get extended, to make sure you're not missing anything. It's probably a good idea to have somebody else take a look at it," said Bernadette Kuratnick, a tax professional with H&R Block.

You can file any time, but the IRS is pushing back the date to when it will start looking at tax returns. This year, that date is Jan. 30. The average refund is sent at least 21 days after the return is filed.