Tax Time

Taxpayers who paid the penalty for not having health insurance in 2016 and 2017 may be eligible for refunds under new hardship exemptions, and an event in Canton on Thursday, May 10, will help residents apply for those exemptions.

Four new hardship exemptions have been announced by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services that may qualify residents for refunds on 2016 and 2017 taxes already paid and give an exemption for 2018.

The four new exemptions are:

-Residents who lived in a county with no insurance carrier.

-Residents who lived in a county with only one insurance carrier, and, due to lack of choice, this was a hardship for them. (In 2017 and 2018 Haywood County only had one insurer – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC.)

-Residents who lived in a county where the insurance carrier did not have access to the specialist the residents needed, and this was a hardship for them.

-Residents who lived in a county where the insurance carrier available to them covered termination of pregnancy, which was a hardship to them as that coverage was contrary to their beliefs.

The penalty for not having health insurance is still in effect for the 2018 tax year and is the same as 2017. The penalty is $695 per uninsured adult and $347.50 per uninsured child, or 2.5 percent of the household income, whichever is greater.

Navigators will be available to assist residents with filing applications for the exemptions at a free event to be held at the Canton Branch Library on Thursday, May 10, from 1 to 6:45 p.m. The Canton library is located at 11 Pennsylvania Ave.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 828-452-1447. Walk-ins are welcome.

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