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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…

IRS Extends Due Date for Employers and Providers to Issue Health Coverage Forms to Individuals

The IRS announced Dec. 22, 2017, that it extended the 2018 due date for certain entities to provide 2017 health coverage information forms to individuals.
 
Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2018, to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of Jan. 31.
 
Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers must furnish statements to employees or covered individuals regarding the health care coverage offered  to them. Individuals may use this information to determine whether, for each month of the calendar year, they may claim the premium tax credit on their individual income tax returns.

This 30-day extension is automatic. Employers and providers don’t have to request it. The due dates for filing 2017 information returns with the IRS are not extended. For 2018, the due dates to file information returns with the IRS are:

  • Feb. 28 for paper filers
  • April 2 for electronic filers

Because of these extensions, individuals may not receive their Forms 1095-B or 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2017 individual income tax return. While information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, the forms are not required to file. Taxpayers can prepare and file their returns using other information about their health coverage. They do not have to wait for Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to file.

More information is in Notice 2018-06.

IRS Statement on Health Care Reporting Requirement

For the 2018 filing season, the IRS‎ will not accept electronically filed tax returns where the taxpayer does not address the health coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The IRS will not accept the electronic tax return until the taxpayer indicates whether they had coverage, had an exemption or will make a shared responsibility payment. In addition, returns filed on paper that do not address the health coverage requirements may be suspended pending the receipt of additional information and any refunds may be delayed.

To avoid refund and processing delays when filing 2017 tax returns in 2018, taxpayers should indicate whether they and everyone on their return had coverage, qualified for an exemption from the coverage requirement or are making an individual shared responsibility payment. This process reflects the requirements of the ACA and the IRS’s obligation to administer the health care law.

Taxpayers remain obligated to follow the law and pay what they may owe at the point of filing‎. The 2018 filing season is the first time the IRS will not accept tax returns that omit this information. After a review of our process and discussions with the National Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS has determined identifying omissions and requiring taxpayers to provide health coverage information at the point of filing makes it easier for the taxpayer to successfully file a tax return and minimizes related refund delays.

Click here for more information about the individual shared responsibility provision.

Series of Yes-or-No Questions help you Determine Eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit

The premium tax credit, or PTC, is a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families with 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.

Answer the yes-or-no questions in this chart – or via accessible text – and follow the arrows to find out if you may be eligible for the premium tax credit.

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. 

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 2017 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 IRS.gov/aca.


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