The Additional Medicare Tax went into effect on January 1, 2013. The 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax applies to an individual’s wages, Railroad Retirement Tax Act compensation and self-employment income that exceeds a threshold amount based on the individual’s filing status. The threshold amounts are $250,000 for married taxpayers who file jointly, $125,000 for married taxpayers who file separately and $200,000 for all other taxpayers. An employer is responsible for withholding the Additional Medicare Tax from wages or compensation it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. For additional information on the Additional Medicare Tax, see our questions and answers.
For tax years 2012 and subsequent, the credit is nonrefundable, with a maximum amount (dollar limitation) of $14,080 per child for 2019.
On June 10, 2016, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Labor (the Departments) issued proposed regulations (PDF) that implement the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (EHCCA). The EHCCA generally provides that most ACA provisions do not apply to expatriate health plans covering individuals traveling to or from the United States. More specifically, the EHCCA provides that the requirements of the ACA do not apply to expatriate health plans, expatriate health insurance issuers for coverage under expatriate health plans, and employers in their capacity as plan sponsors of expatriate health plans, except that: (1) an expatriate health plan shall be treated as minimum essential coverage under section 5000A(f) of the Code and any other section of the Code that incorporates the definition of minimum essential coverage; (2) the employer shared responsibility provisions of section 4980H of the Code continue to apply; (3) the health care reporting provisions of sections 6055 and 6056 of the Code continue to apply but with certain modifications relating to the use of electronic media for required statements to enrollees; (4)the excise tax provisions of section 4980I of the Code continue to apply with respect to coverage of certain qualified expatriates who are assigned (rather than transferred) to work in the United States; and (5) the annual health insurance providers fee imposed by section 9010 of the ACA takes into account expatriate health insurance issuers for certain purposes for calendar years 2014 and 2015 only. The EHCCA proposed regulations provide that the market reform provisions enacted as part of the ACA generally do not apply to expatriate health plans, any employer solely in its capacity as a plan sponsor of an expatriate health plan, and any expatriate health insurance issuer with respect to coverage under an expatriate health plan. Further, the EHCCA proposed regulations define the benefit and administrative requirements for expatriate health issuers, expatriate health plans, and qualified expatriates, and provide clarification regarding the applicability of certain fee and reporting requirements.
Health coverage for an employee's children under 27 years of age is now generally tax-free to the employee. This expanded health care tax benefit applies to various work place and retiree health plans. These changes immediately allow employers with cafeteria plans –– plans that allow employees to choose from a menu of tax-free benefit options and cash or taxable benefits –– to permit employees to begin making pre-tax contributions to pay for this expanded benefit. This also applies to self-employed individuals who qualify for the self-employed health insurance deduction on their federal income tax return. Learn more by reading our news release or this notice (PDF).
Effective January 1, 2011, the cost of an over-the-counter medicine or drug cannot be reimbursed from Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) or health reimbursement arrangements unless a prescription is obtained. The change does not affect insulin, even if purchased without a prescription, or other health care expenses such as medical devices, eye glasses, contact lenses, co-pays and deductibles. This standard applies only to purchases made on or after Jan. 1, 2011. A similar rule went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs). Employers and employees should take these changes into account as they make health benefit decisions. For more information, see news release IR-2010-95, Notice 2010-59 (PDF), Revenue Ruling 2010-23 (PDF) and our questions and answers. FSA and HRA participants can continue using debit cards to buy prescribed over-the-counter medicines, if requirements are met. For more information, see news release IR-2010-128 and Notice 2011-5 (PDF). Additionally, Notice 2013-57 (PDF) provides information about the definition of preventive care for purposes of high deductible health plans associated with HSAs.
In addition, starting in 2013, there are new rules about the amount that can be contributed to an FSA. Notice 2012-40 (PDF)provides information about these rules and flexibility for employers applying the new rules. On Oct. 31, 2013, the Department of the Treasury and IRS issued Notice 2013-71 (PDF), which provides information on a new $500 carryover option for employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements. Learn more by reading the news release issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Further, Notice 2013-54 (PDF) provides guidance regarding the application of the Affordable Care Act’s market reforms to certain health FSAs.
On February 5, 2016, the Treasury Department and IRS issued Notice 2016-17 (PDF), which provides guidance on the application of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act to premium reduction arrangements offered in connection with student health plans. The notice also provides temporary transition relief from enforcement by the Treasury Department, DOL and HHS in certain circumstances. On February 5, 2016, DOL issued similar guidance in Technical Release 2016-01 and HHS issued similar guidance in an Insurance Standards Bulletin (PDF).
For tax years 2014 - 2018, the individual shared responsibility provision calls for each individual to either have minimum essential coverage for each month, qualify for an exemption or make a payment when filing his or her federal income tax return. For additional information on the individual shared responsibility provision, see our ISRP page and questions and answers. Additional information on exemptions and minimum essential coverage is available in final regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The Net Investment Income Tax went into effect on January 1, 2013. The 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax applies to individuals, estates and trusts that have certain investment income above certain threshold amounts. For additional information on the Net Investment Income Tax, see our questions and answers.
Starting in 2014, individuals and families can take the premium tax credit to help them afford health insurance coverage purchased through an Affordable Insurance Exchange (also known as a Health Insurance Marketplace). The premium tax credit is refundable so taxpayers who have little or no income tax liability can still benefit. The credit also can be paid in advance to a taxpayer’s insurance company to help cover the cost of premiums.