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How the ACA Tax Penalty Works

For 2014, if you don't have health insurance and you don't qualify for an exemption, you'll have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult plus $47.50 per child (up to a maximum of $285 for a family) or 1% of your household income, whichever is greater. The flat dollar amount is reduced by 50% for dependents under the age of 18.

The fee increases each year until you get co...verage. For 2015, penalty is $325 per adult plus $162.50 per child (with a family maximum of $975) or 2% of annual family income. And in 2016, the fee will be $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child (with a maximum of $2,085) or 2.5% of family income.

For purposes of determining the penalty, "income" is defined as what your household earns in excess of the income-tax filing threshold. (For 2014, the threshold is $10,150 for an individual and $20,300 for married couples filing jointly.) For instance, if you are a single individual who earns $45,000 in 2014, the penalty will be based on $34,850 of your income (AGI). One percent of $34,850 is $348.50. Because that amount is greater than $95, your penalty will be $348.50.

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