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United Way Suncoast Offers Free Tax Help

Carolyn Kaster
Associated Press

It's tax season, and for the first time, people filing tax returns will be asked if they have health insurance. Under the federal health law, there is a tax penalty for not having insurance. 
United Way Suncoast is once again offering free tax prep help.  This year, they're partnering with Covering Tampa Bay, a group that works to enroll people in health plans. 
Danielle Laughlin is an income strategies manager for the United Way. She says the two groups both work with the same demographic. 
"The whole goal of the partnership between us is to make sure that we're both talking about the same issue and making sure we're raising the awareness," she said.  "For the free tax program, we're serving consumers that earn less than $60,000 per year for the household and those would be the very same consumers who could potentially go into the marketplace and get health coverage," she said. 
The tax penalty for not having health insurance for 2014 under the federal health law  is $95 dollars, or 1 percent of your income, whichever is greater.

Quincy J. Walters is a junior at USF, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing. His interest in journalism spurred from the desire to convey compelling narratives. He has written for USF’s student paper, The Oracle and is currently the videographer for Creative Pinellas. If he’s not listening to NPR, he’s probably listening to Randy Newman.
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