The tax for being uninsured is normally the higher of two amounts: The basic penalty or an income-based levy. The basic penalty is $95 a person ($47.50 for each family member who is under the age of 18), with a ceiling of $285.
The income-based penalty is 1% of the excess of the taxpayer’s household AGI over the minimum level of AGI needed to trigger filing a return…$10,150 for singles and $20,300 for couples, plus $3,950 per dependent. The tax is lowered proportionally for any months the taxpayer had coverage. The levies will be higher in 2015 and 2016.
But in no case can the tax exceed the cost of a bronze-level exchange plan for the taxpayer and family members, also adjusted for the month with health coverage. IRS has limited remedies to collect this tax. It cannot use liens or levies, so it can only offset tax refunds. Nor can it charge interest on the unpaid balances.
Lower-incomers can get a refundable tax credit to help them afford coverage. They can elect to have credit sent directly to an exchange to help pay premiums or take the credit directly on their returns. The credit is allowed on a sliding scale for filers with household income over $11, 490 for singles and $23,550 for a family of four. It ends as household income hits $45, 960 for singles and $94,200 for a family of four.