October 29, 2014
It's time to give you some important information regarding the Affordable Health Care Act. This is the law that requires everyone to have health insurance coverage. It went into effect January 1, 2014. When we do your tax return, we will be asking you questions about your health insurance. If you, or someone listed on your return, did not have health insurance for each month of the year, you may be assessed a penalty on your tax return.
I am going to try and take this complex law and convert it into some simple questions for you.
Did you, your spouse and each dependent on your return have health insurance for each month of 2014? Was that insurance Medicare, Medicaid, an employer sponsored plan or a plan that your purchased yourself?
If you answered yes to both of those questions, you will not be assessed a penalty on your tax return. We will need to see any documentation that you receive to show that you had this coverage. Now on to the more complex situations
Did you receive your health insurance from the Health Insurance Marketplace? This is the program that was offered by the government at healthcare.gov. If you did, you may have received at premium tax subsidy. When I do your return, we will be calculating the subsidy to see if it was the correct amount. Even if you did not receive a subsidy when you enrolled, we will still have to calculate whether you are eligible for a subsidy or not. We will have to have the 1095A that you receive in the mail. We will not be able to complete your return without it.
There are certain circumstances where people are exempt from having health insurance. These include:
- Being a part of a religious organization opposed to acceptance of benefits from a health insurance policy
- Being an undocumented immigrant
- Being incarcerated (aka locked in the slammer)
- Being a member of an Indian tribe
- Family income below federal filing threshhold
- You have to pay more than 8% of your income for health insurance, after taking into account any employer contributions or tax credit.
There are also "hardship exemptions" These include, but are not limited to:
Being homeless, being evicted in the last 6 months, recently experienced domestic violence, death of a close family member....and the list goes on.
In order for you to get an exemption from the health insurance mandate, you must have an EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE. These are issued by the department of Health and Human Services. If you think that you may qualify for an exemption, you can find out how to apply for an exemption at www.healthcare.gov. We can not complete your return and indicate your exemption with out it. Also you must obtain an exemption certificate by December 31, 2014. Remember, you can not apply for the exemption on your tax return. You must have it approved and have the certificate prior to filing your 2014 tax return.
We don't want to take a chance that someone will have to pay a penalty when they could have gotten an exemption. We also want you to be aware that we are going to be asking you some pretty in depth questions about your health insurance.
Please feel free to share this information with your family or friends. And remember this... the information contained in this email is correct as of 9-1-2014. Unfortunately, some or all of it could change... at any time. But rest assured, we are staying on top of this.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your personal situation and the individual health insurance mandate.