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Tip of the Week

ACA Help

This year marks the first year that the Affordable Care Act will affect tax returns. While many people are still nervous about how this will affect filing their taxes, there is lots of free help out there. There are many reputable resources that can answer tax questions regarding the ACA and many knowledgeable ACA navigators positioned across the state able to answer questions.

What are Marketplace Navigators? Navigators are public advisors who help individuals and small employers compare the health insurance options on Healthcare.gov. Certified navigators have taken federal and state training. They have been fingerprinted and have undergone a Montana background check. Find a navigator in your community by clicking here.

Additionally, you can go to these sites for an abundance of information and resources to answer your ACA questions:

Montana Health Insurance Answers: Learning the ins and out of health insurance can be overwhelming, so Monica Lindeen's office created a website to help Montanans navigate the health insurance market place. The site offers information you need to make the best choices you can for yourselves, your family or your small business. Visit this site for answers to your ACA questions, and to find free, live help from an ACA trained person in your community.

IRS website's section on ACA:  Visit this section of the IRS website devoted to answering ACA questions. The site covers the qualifying health care coverage, individual shared responsibility payments, health care exemptions, and the premium tax credit.

Are you covered for 2015? While you are gathering documents and information to file taxes for 2014, don't forget to plan ahead too. February 15 is the deadline to sign up for insurance for 2015 without paying a penalty. You can do so by visiting www.healthcare.gov. Those who do not have health coverage in 2015 may have to pay a fine -- two percent of the yearly household income or $325 per person ($162.50 per child) per year, whichever is greater.

Also, each volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is also trained in the ACA and will be able to accurately prepare your taxes for free. People should visit MontanaFreeFile.org to schedule an appointment with a volunteer tax preparer or to find links to file taxes from the comforts of home.

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Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (or MCUCD) is the award-winning, charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. A state-wide nonprofit organization, MCUCD works together with the state's credit unions to improve the lives and financial independence of all Montanans.