Under IRC section 36B, eligible individuals who purchase health insurance through a Health Insurance Exchange may claim a Premium Tax Credit on form 8962.
Among the various requirements, the tax credit is based on whether a taxpayer claims a personal exemption deduction under IRC section 151 for the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, and any dependents of the taxpayer.
For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced the personal exemption deduction to zero.
On November 5, 2018, the IRS issued Notice 2018-84 which provided interim guidance clarifying that the reduction of the personal exemption deduction to zero under IRC section 151(d)(5) does not affect the ability of individual taxpayers to claim the Premium Tax Credit. The notice provides that:
1) A taxpayer is considered to have claimed a personal exemption deduction for himself or herself for a tax year if the taxpayer files an income tax return for the year and does not qualify as a dependent of another taxpayer for the year, and
2) A taxpayer is considered to have claimed a personal exemption deduction for an individual other than the taxpayer if the taxpayer is allowed a personal exemption deduction for the individual, taking into account IRC section 151(d)(5)(B), and lists the individual’s name and taxpayer identification number (TIN) on Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, or Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return.
The proposed regulations adopt the substance of the guidance in Notice 2018-84 by amending the regulations under IRC sections 36B and section 6011 to clarify that the reduction of the personal exemption deduction to zero does not affect the ability of individual taxpayers to claim the Premium Tax Credit on form 8962.
The proposed regulations amend the definition of a family under Regulation section 1.36B-1(d) to provide that a taxpayer’s family means the taxpayer, including both spouses in the case of a joint return, except for individuals who qualify as a dependent of another taxpayer, and any other individual for whom the taxpayer is allowed a personal exemption deduction and whom the taxpayer properly reports on the taxpayer’s income tax return for the tax year. Properly reporting means including the individual’s name and taxpayer identification number on the tax return.
Conforming changes to the various regulations delete references such as “claim a personal exemption deduction,” “claims a personal exemption deduction,” or “claimed a personal exemption deduction,” and replace them with other terms consistent with the definition of family in the proposed regulations (for example, “properly includes the person in the taxpayer’s family”).