This year's intersection of the deadlines to sign up for health insurance, as well as to file taxes, elevated the role of many tax preparers who have been educating uninsured clients about the health law. Some tax preparers contend the two deadlines should be permanently connected.
Politico Pro: Push To Keep Obamacare Deadline On Tax Day
Tax preparers got their wish: They’re helping to carry Obamacare enrollment across the finish line on Tuesday’s Tax Day. But they’re already worried about a deadline mismatch in 2015. The Obama administration effectively extended this year’s sign-up period for many Americans an extra two weeks, until April 15. That deadline’s intersection with the deadline for filing taxes elevated the role of many major tax preparers, who have been educating uninsured clients and directing them to brokers who could get them enrolled (Cunningham, 4/15).
The New York Times: Tax Preparers’ New Role: Health-Coverage Advisers
The tax system provides both the carrot and the stick for people to obtain coverage. Tax preparers like Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block say they have helped tens of thousands of people apply for tax credits to help defray the cost of private insurance bought through the exchanges. In addition, the big tax service companies and makers of tax preparation software like Intuit’s TurboTax are calculating potential penalties for those who do not have insurance (Pear, 4/14).