It is hard to believe, but the 2017 tax filing season is rapidly approaching, so it’s not too early to think about how the health care law affects your taxes. The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, requires you and each member of your family to do at least one of the following:
- Have qualifying health coverage called minimum essential coverage
- Qualify for a health coverage exemption
- Make a shared responsibility payment with your federal income tax return for the months that you did not have coverage or an exemption
If you meet certain criteria for the tax year, you may be exempt from the requirement to have minimum essential coverage, and you will not have to make a shared responsibility payment for any month that you are exempt. Instead, you’ll file for a Health Coverage Exemption, Form 8965, with your federal income tax return. For any month that you do not qualify for a coverage exemption, you will need to have minimum essential coverage or make a shared responsibility payment. You may be exempt if you meet one of the following:
- The lowest-cost coverage available to you is considered unaffordable
- You have a gap in coverage that is less than 3 consecutive months
- You qualify for an exemption for one of several other reasons, including having a hardship that prevents you from obtaining coverage, or belonging to a group specifically exempt from the coverage requirement
If you want to find out if you’re eligible for a coverage exemption or if you must make a payment, then use the interactive tool that can be found on the IRS website, www.irs.gov.
Starting in 2017, if you file your Federal income tax returns and do not reflect at least one of these options:
- reporting health care coverage,
- claiming a coverage exemption or
- reporting a shared responsibility payment
your tax return will be rejected if the return is filed electronically. If you file your return on paper and do not reflect at least one of these options, it will take longer to process and any refunds will be delayed.
If you have any questions on the Affordable Care Act, please contact our office at (855) 479-2400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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