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The Premium Tax Credit


The premium tax credit, or PTC, is a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families with low or moderate income afford health insurance purchased through a Health Insurance Marketplace. To get this credit, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return.

Who Qualifies

You are eligible for the premium tax credit if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have household income that falls within a certain range.
  • Do not file a Married Filing Separately tax return
    • Unless you meet the criteria in the regulations, which allows certain victims of domestic abuse and spousal abandonment to claim the premium tax credit using the Married Filing Separately
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person.
  • In the same month – a coverage month – you, or a family member:
    • Enroll in coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace
    • Are not able to get affordable coverage through an eligible employer-sponsored plan that provides minimum value.
    • Are not eligible for coverage through a government program, like Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP or TRICARE.
    • Pay the share of premiums not covered by advance credit payments


During enrollment through the Marketplace, the Marketplace will determine if you are eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit, also called advance credit payments.  Advance credit payments are amounts paid directly to your insurance company on your behalf to lower the out of pocket cost for your health insurance premiums.  

The amount of the advance credit payments is based on an estimate of the amount of the premium tax credit that you will be allowed on your tax return and is determined by using your projected household income and family composition for the year and certain other information.


For more information, see our Questions and Answers and other guidance.

Premium Tax Credit Tool
Use our interactive premium tax credit tool to see if you qualify.
Do I Qualify button
Change in Circumstances


If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Marketplace and get assistance in paying premiums through advance credit payments made on your behalf, it is important to report life changes to the Marketplace throughout the year. Certain changes to your household, income or family size may affect your premium tax credit, tax refund or cause you to owe tax. Reporting these changes promptly will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance. Changes that can affect the amount of your actual premium tax credit include:

  • Increases or decreases in your household income including lump sum payments like a lump sum payment of Social Security benefits
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Gaining or losing eligibility for other health care coverage including eligible employer- sponsored coverage or government sponsored coverage such as Medicare
  • Gaining, losing or other changes to employment
  • Moving to a different address


For the full list of changes you should report, visit


Claiming and Reconciling the Credit


When you enroll in coverage through the Marketplace, you can choose to have monthly advance credit payments sent directly to your insurer. If you get the benefit of advance credit payments in any amount or if you plan to claim the premium tax credit, you must file a federal income tax return, even if you’re usually not required to file. Attach Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, to your return to claim or reconcile the credit. Failing to file your tax return will prevent you from receiving advance credit payments in future years

Filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. Electronic filing options include free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File, commercial software and professional assistance.


Key Documents and Forms
1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

Your Marketplace will provide Form 1095-A if you or one of your dependents had coverage through a Marketplace. For more information, visit our Health Insurance Marketplace Statement page.


Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit

Use the information on Form 1095-A to claim the credit or reconcile advance credit payments on Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit.


Form 1040

File Form 8962 with your 1040, 1040A, or 1040NR.


Pub 974, Premium Tax Credit View Publication 974 for more details on the premium tax credit.


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 29-Sep-2015