Local tax offices offer free advice on how Obamacare might affect your taxes

If you have questions about how the Affordable Care Act will affect your taxes, find a local H&R Block office Thursday (Jan. 8) and they’ll give you some free advice.

In the tax-preparation company’s first “ACA Q&A Day,” tax preparers will stay open for 12 hours — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — across the country to answer people’s questions about what the ACA, also known as Obamacare, will do to their federal tax returns.

People will get a free, personalized ACA Tax Impact Analysis, a tailored review of how the ACA might affect their tax return and potentially their refund, according to a news release. Additionally, the tax pros will help people determine whether they qualify for one of numerous potential government exemptions to the ACA.

The ACA made 46 changes to the tax code, making it the largest change in 20 years, according to the release. Everyone who files taxes for 2014 has to declare whether they have health insurance. Some people may have to pay a penalty for not having insurance, or they may have to pay back some money they may have received from the Advance Premium Tax Credit.

That tax credit was based on estimated income, so if a person actually earned more money, he or she may have to deduct some of the credit from a refund, said Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. There’s also confusion about the amount of the penalty for noncoverage. Many people believe it’s only $95, but some people’s circumstances could make the penalty a little — or a lot — more.

H&R Block’s 80,000 U.S. tax professionals have received a combined 600,000 hours of ACA-related training, according to a news release.

To find the nearest H&R Block office, visit or call (800) HRBLOCK.