Don’t bet big on health law changes when mulling coverage

Don't bet big on health law changes when mulling coverageThis file photo shows the HealthCare.gov 2017 website home page on display, in Washington. Health insurance experts say the decision to buy 2017 coverage on the Affordable Care Act’s public exchanges shouldn’t boil down to a gamble over the survival of the law, which requires most people to have insurance. Instead, customers should focus on whether they can handle the financial risk that comes with remaining uninsured while they wait for Trump’s health care plan to crystallize.

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4 of the most overlooked tax credits and deductions

4 of the most overlooked tax credits and deductions(Photo: Getty Images)For many taxpayers, tax preparation is both a curse and a blessing.It’s a curse because it’s cumbersome to take a walk through our past year’s worth of finances and what could be a sea of receipts. It’s can also be extremely complicated without the right software and/or professional assistance. The U.S. tax code consists of more than 10 million words these days, and that doesn’t count the novel’s worth of pages of litigation that helps explain certain tax laws.At the same time, it’s often rewarding because four in five taxpayers are due a refund from the federal government each year. In 2016, this average refund check topped $2,700. That sizable amount could be the beginnings of an emergency fund, investable money for a retirement account, or enough to pay down some debt.But are American taxpayers really getting their money’s worth come tax time? According to professional tax-preparation software business TurboTax, maybe not.In the most recent tax year, more than 45 million taxpayers itemized their deductions on their Form 1040s, resulting in about $1.2 trillion worth of tax deductions. At the same time, the taxpayers who chose to claim the standard deduction wound up accounting for about $747 billion in deductions. Since the number of taxpayers who chose the standard deduction vastly outnumbers the taxpayers who itemized, essentially taking the easy way out, it’s possible that millions of Americans may have cheated themselves out of some juicy tax deductions and/or credits.Here are four commonly overlooked tax credits and deductions that could be costing you money.

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