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The Affordable Care Act: What’s Trending


When it comes to the health care law – also known as the Affordable Care Act or ACA – and how it may affect your taxes, there are many questions you might have.  This page offers news on trending topics and answers to questions we are hearing.

For Your Information…

New Video Available for Employers, Providers, Transmitters

Understanding Error Reports for ACA Information Returns is a new 16-minute video to help employers, coverage providers and transmitters better understand error reports from the ACA Information Returns (AIR) system. It explains how AIR reports errors to you and describes your next steps.  

Other webinars for employers and coverage providers are still available to watch in the IRS Video Portal.  The PowerPoint presentations are also available to download.

ACA Information Returns May Continue To Be Filed After June 30, 2016

If you are an applicable large employer, self-insured employer or health coverage provider, the deadline to electronically file information returns with the IRS is June 30, 2016. The ACA Information Returns (AIR) system will remain up and running after the deadline.

If you file 250 or more Forms 1095-B or Forms 1095-C with the IRS, you must electronically file them through the AIR system. You must file them with a transmittal, Form 1094-B or Form 1094-C.

It is important to note the following:

  • The AIR system will continue to accept information returns after June 30, 2016
  • If any submissions were rejected by the AIR system, you have 60 days to submit a replacement
  • If you submitted and received “Accepted with Errors” messages, you may continue to submit corrections after June 30, 2016

For system updates and more information, see the Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) Program page.

It’s Time for a PTC Checkup for your 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage

If you or anyone in your family are getting advance payments of the premium tax credit, it’s that time of year for a checkup to see if you need to adjust your premium assistance. Since the advance payments are paid directly to your insurance company and lower the out-of-pocket cost for your health insurance premiums, changes in your income or family size may affect your credit.  You should report changes that have occurred since the time that you signed up for your health insurance plan. For more information about the changes you should report see IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-59.

Premium Tax Credit Letters 

If you were required to reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit but failed to do so when you filed your income tax return, you may receive a 12C - premium tax credit - letter from the IRS.  You should reply to the letter promptly to avoid further delays in your refund.   If you need help understanding why you received the letter and how to respond, see Understanding Your Letter 0012C.

The IRS is also sending Letter 5858 to taxpayers who have not yet filed their 2015 tax return and whose Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, shows that advance payments of the premium tax credit were made to their health insurance company to reduce premium costs in 2015. If you receive this letter, you need to file your 2015 federal tax return with Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, to reconcile these advance payments as soon as possible in order to protect your eligibility for assistance with paying for your or your family’s Marketplace health insurance coverage in 2017. For more information, visit the Understanding Your Letter 5858 page.

People are asking…

Here are commonly-asked questions that we are hearing from taxpayers and seeing on social media.

Q. What happens if I don’t file or I fail to reconcile my advance payments of the premium tax credit when I file my return?

A. Failing to file a tax return or filing your return without reconciling your advance payments will delay your refund and may affect future advance credit payments. The IRS will send you a letter with instructions about what you need to do to resolve this issue, which may include submitting Forms 1095-A and 8962, so we can process your return. If you have not yet filed your return for the 2014 tax year, the Marketplace may discontinue your 2016 advance credit payment.  If you do not file and reconcile your return for tax year 2015, the Marketplace may deny your eligibility for advance credit payments in 2017.

Q. Does everyone need to have health insurance coverage?

A. The Affordable Care Act requires you and each member of your family to have basic health coverage (called minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your federal income tax return. If you are not required to file a tax return and don’t want to file a return, you do not need to file a return solely to report your coverage or to claim an exemption.

Q. What are my options to receive help with filing a return and reconciling?

A. Filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return as the software guides you through the filing process. Electronic filing options include free Volunteer Assistance, IRS Free File, commercial software, and professional assistance. For information about filing a return and reconciling advance credit payments, visit

For more questions and answers about the health care law, see the Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions Questions and Answers page.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 26-Aug-2016