H&R Block: Millions risk losing tax credit to purchase health insurance
Taxpayers who received Advance Premium Tax Credit must file tax return to reconcile, continue getting help paying for health coverage
H&R Block (NYSE: HRB), the world’s largest consumer tax preparation company, estimates that millions of taxpayers who received health insurance through the marketplace may lose their tax credit for health insurance in the future unless they file a tax return or extension. The April 15 deadline to file a return is just days away, and approximately 7.5 million taxpayers annually do not file tax returns but should based on data received by the IRS such as W-2s and 1099s.
For the estimated 6.5 million taxpayers who received insurance via the federal or state marketplaces, one requirement for those who also received an Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) is to file a tax return to reconcile the amount received and ensure the credit was accurate. If they do not, they could risk losing their financial assistance, in the form of an APTC, going forward.
The reconciliation form, Form 8962, includes information from the marketplace provided to both the taxpayer and the IRS on a Form 1095-A. The IRS can use this data to match it to tax returns to ensure that those who received a credit do file a return and reconcile the APTC received.
“Those who received an advance premium tax credit last year and do not file a tax return could be in jeopardy of losing this help paying for their health insurance coverage in the next open enrollment,” said Mark Ciaramitaro, vice president of H&R Block health care and tax services. “The best action for them to ensure they will continue to receive help paying for coverage is to file – either a tax return or extension – by the April 15th filing deadline.”
November could bring a surprise
For those who continue to have coverage and do not file, they may face a surprise when they try to re-enroll in coverage during this fall’s open enrollment period, which begins November 1.
Just because open enrollment isn’t until November, doesn’t mean these taxpayers should wait to file a return. Often, these taxpayers could qualify for certain credits and deductions that could result in a refund. Filing a return also creates the most accurate picture of income for the next open enrollment, which is important for correctly estimating APTC.
The IRS indicated earlier in the season that just 5 percent of those who received an APTC had filed a return. H&R Block has estimated there still could be a large segment of taxpayers, in the millions, who received an APTC yet to file.
“It will be important for these taxpayers to file a completed return,” Ciaramitaro said. “And the sooner the better. First, they may receive a refund. Second, this will ensure they continue to receive ongoing help paying for their health insurance and finally, when it comes time to re-enroll they will have a better income baseline in order to apply for next year’s advance premium tax credit.”
Taxpayers can find their local H&R Block office to schedule an appointment and receive a free ACA tax impact analysis with a tax professional online or by calling 1-800-HRBLOCK.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 650 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2014, H&R Block had annual revenues over $3.0 billion with 24.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/newsroom.