This tax season, for the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed five years ago, consumers are facing its financial consequences.

Whether they owe a penalty for not having health insurance, or have to figure out whether they need to pay back part of the subsidy they received to offset the cost of monthly insurance premiums, many people have to contend with new tax forms and calculations.

Susan Dean, 78, says doing her taxes by hand would be impossible without the IRS instruction booklet, which the IRS no longer widely distributes.
KUOW photo/Sara Lerner

Alert, tax prep procrastinators: You might want to force yourself to start earlier this year.

When the federal agency in charge of tax collection gets hit with budget cuts, there are problems – and reduced IRS services are creating real roadblocks.

The Internal Revenue Service has warned of tax season chaos if Congress fails to pass a series of breaks by the end of November. The so-called tax extenders include everything from deductions for school teachers who buy classroom supplies to faster depreciation for business equipmentent.

County officials who issue marriage licenses in Washington are gearing up for a possible influx of new applicants.

The Internal Revenue Service must earn the trust of the American people, the tax agency's new leader said on Capitol Hill Monday, as he promised to hold employees accountable for targeting the tax-exempt applications of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

A recent report by the Treasury Department's Inspector General faulted the IRS for using "inappropriate criteria" to identify groups for further review.

There's a new reason to file your taxes early next year: you might thwart an identity thief.

Identity thieves have used stolen information to beat victims to their tax filings. They file false reports, get large refunds and create a mess for the real taxpayer.