The Affordable Care Act comes into play again at tax time. In the simplest of ways, that may include indicating on your tax form that you had health insurance during 2017. Other tax requirements related to the ACA become more difficult from there.
When you file your tax return, you’ll have to remain compliant with the Affordable Care Act and indicate such on your return. If your employer provided your health insurance during the tax year, you’ll simply need to check a box on your Form 1040. The same is true for those who use Medicare or Medicaid. For most taxpayers, this simple box-checking is all that’s necessary to keep their taxes ACA-compliant.
If you received a subsidy of your health insurance through the health insurance marketplace by estimating your annual income, you’ll either need to claim it or reconcile it at tax time. If your income is low enough, you’d receive a monthly premium credit to offset the cost of your insurance.
If you chose to have the premium credit applied instantly, and your payments were lower each month, you’ll need to reconcile your credit at tax time. You may be surprised by what you discover. If you underestimated your income when applying for your health insurance credit, you’ll have gotten more money back than the IRS intended. You’ll have to account for this when you prepare your taxes.
When you file your taxes and determine your actual income, you’ll have to match this amount with the amount you used to apply for the credit. If your actual number is larger than your estimated amount, you’ll have to pay a penalty for the premium. There are some options for relief for taxpayers with low income.
The ACA also offers some exemptions from the requirement that every taxpayer be covered under some form of health insurance. If you are eligible for an exemption, you’ll need to prove it on your taxes. The most common exemption is for those who cannot find affordable insurance through the marketplace, though several exemptions exist which can eliminate the requirement to be covered by the ACA.