As we all know by now, the US Supreme Court upheld the government regulations that provide that an otherwise qualified individual who obtains health insurance through the federal exchange (rather than a state exchange) is entitled to a Premium Tax Credit (PTC). This is the 6/25/15 decision in King v Burwell. I think this is the logical ruling because the Act does provide that if a state doesn’t create an exchange, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to establish one. Also, since this is the “Affordable Care” Act we are talking about, the PTC is a key part that helps make insurance affordable for many who have household income at or below 400% of the federal poverty line (more so for younger people in regions where the cost of living is not high – not for all individuals).
Tag Archive for Affordable Care Act
Breaking: Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, upholds Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) subsidies. The ruling allows federal tax credits to be issued to people who buy health plans through a federally run ACA exchange.
Starting with this year’s filing season, taxpayers must report certain information related to health care coverage on their 2014 tax return when they file this April. In addition, taxpayers must provide proof of health insurance coverage or that they have received an exemption.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Affordable Care Act might affect your tax situation, and based on your type of coverage, which new tax forms you might be receiving.
Tip: For additional information about IRS tax forms related to health care insurance, please see the article, Health Care Law: Changes to IRS Tax Forms, below.
To help more people obtain health insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a subsidy in the form of a refundable, advanceable tax credit – the Premium Tax Credit (PTC). Generally, if your household income is at least 100% of the Federal poverty line, but not over 400% of that line, and you are not offered affordable coverage from your employer, you are eligible.
For many people, their household income is roughly the same each month. But not for everyone. Perhaps you started the year with monthly income within the eligibility range and obtained subsidized insurance for those months. But, then you get a better paying job or a bonus (but still no offer of affordable health insurance from your employer), and your annual household income goes above 400% of the FPL? Well, then you have to repay the Read more
This year, there are some changes to tax forms related to the Affordable Care Act. Along with several new lines on existing forms, there are also two new forms that need to be included with some tax returns.
While most taxpayers simply need to check a box on their tax return to indicate they had health coverage for all of 2014, there are new lines on Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ related to the health care law. Information about the new forms and updates to existing forms is summarized below
Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions
Complete this form to report a Marketplace-granted coverage exemption or claim an Read more
Well into the start of busy season, the IRS issued important guidance on some parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how small businesses can adopt the tangible property regulations (TPR). I’ve got a summary of the ACA updates (and beyond) in a short article in the 3/12/15 AICPA Tax Insider – An update on Affordable Care Act busy season developments.
Here is my summary of the TPR items as well as a recent news release by the California Franchise Tax Board on conformity with TPR.
Policy Item: Both the ACA items (particularly the relief from the $100/employee/day penalty for health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that violate ACA provisions), and the TPR Read more
Our health care system is too complex. I am not only referring to the numerous tax provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), but the system itself. For example, if you have health insurance, do you know what it covers, how costs are computed, how insurance companies and the medical profession make money?
On March 4, the US Supreme Court heard oral argument in King v Burwell on whether individuals who obtained health insurance through the federal exchange (because their state did not establish its own exchange), are entitled to a Premium Tax Credit (PTC). The PTC provision in the Code (Section 36B) makes reference to state exchange. The Administration interprets that as also meaning a federal exchange. Millions of individuals have obtained (in 2014) and are currently obtaining for 2015, a PTC to help pay for Read more
On 1/14/15, Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate released her required annual report to Congress about problems with the tax system. As noted on the NTA website, the key parts of this 700+ page report are:
• Most Serious Problems• Legislative Recommendations• Most Litigated Issues• Volume 2: TAS Research and Related Studies
Some key points noted include:
• Tax law complexity (here + Executive Summary)
• The need to put taxpayer bill of rights into the Internal Revenue Code (here)
• Problems due to inadequate funding of the IRS (here + Executive Summary) Read more
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a penalty on “applicable large employers” starting in 2014 (changed to 2015 by the Administration). An ALE is an employer with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent workers. A full-time worker is one who works on average, 30 hours per week, or 130 hours per month.
There have been proposals to increase the threshold from 30 to 40, including this week – H.R. 30 of the new 114th Congress. Full-time employee is relevant in determining if an employer is an ALE, but more significantly, it is relevant in describing which employee the ALE has to offer coverage to (as well as the employee’s dependents up to age 26), in order to avoid the employer mandate penalty (IRC Section 4980H). An ALE only owes a penalty if one of its full-time employees obtains a Premium Tax Credit. The change from 30 to 40 Read more
In filing our 2014 tax returns, we will all have to answer a new question (line 61 on the 2014 Form 1040) – did you and everyone in your family (spouses and dependents on the return) have health coverage for every month of 2014. If anyone was lacking coverage for any month, they must next determine if they meet an exemption. If they do not, they owe the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (penalty). One of the exemptions that many people might qualify for is that the health insurance available to them was unaffordable. If the employer offered coverage, you look at the cost of that coverage (cost less what employer contributes to that cost). If the employer did not offer coverage, you look at what the cost of coverage would have been in the Marketplace (Exchange). If you would have been eligible for a Premium Tax Credit (Section 36B), you must reduce that cost of Marketplace coverage Read more
With just weeks remaining before the new tax season opens, Congress walloped the IRS with $341 million in budget cuts. That’s in addition to earlier slashes to the IRS budget of more than $1 billion since 2010, resulting in nearly 13,000 employee layoffs.
Is that a wise choice or an act of spite toward an unpopular agency?
Congress touted that the cuts are much needed but to others it looks like something else – revenge. You see many in Congress are still fuming about this year’s earlier tax-exempt organization scandal and those missing Lerner emails. There are other members of Congress that are angry about reports of wasteful spending. And still there are other members of Congress that see this as a great opportunity to keep IRS from properly implementing pieces of the Affordable Care Act – yes, the same Act that Congress pushed Read more
A few people have already pointed out this oddity in the Affordable Care Act including National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson in her 2013 Annual Report to Congress. Her excerpt notes that in determining if a person had affordable health coverage available to them from an employer, the measure is whether the self-only lowest cost coverage available to the employee costs 8% or less. It doesn’t matter if the family coverage offered by the employer is affordable. The relevance is that the family members won’t qualify for a Premium Tax Credit.
That seems odd if no “affordable” coverage was offered to the rest of the family. Isn’t that the point of the Affordable Care Act? To help make coverage affordable to everyone? Read more