healthcare.gov

Get (Free) Help With Your Taxes!

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Don't pay to have your taxes prepared!  

You can get free help if you are low income (less than 54,000/year for in person help or less than $66,000/year for online help).  

People need help filing their taxes for many reasons. Whatever the reason, there are some great resources.  Scroll down for a complete list of help in Washtenaw County. For anywhere else in the country, go to myfreetaxes.com and look for assistance from a local United Way—or do-it-yourself online!

What About the Health Insurance Requirement?

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The Affordable Care Act required that most people have health care in 2018 or pay a penalty (shared responsibility payment) unless you qualify for an exemption.  If you had health care through the Marketplace (healthcare.gov) make sure you bring your 1095-A with you when you go to file your taxes.  Your 1095-A is available in the Messages section of your Marketplace (healthcare.gov) account.  You can also call the Marketplace (1-800-318-2596) and they can give the account holder the information over the phone.

For 2019, there is still a mandate requiring people to have health insurance but there is no longer a penalty. When filing taxes in 2020 for the 2019 year, there would be no penalty for not having health insurance.

EXEMPTIONS from the Shared Responsibility Payment

If you are an undocumented immigrant filing taxes using an ITIN number, or if your income is very low, or if your employer insurance was too expensive, you may not have to pay a penalty.  If you are not sure you qualify for an exemption, use the Health Coverage Exemptions tool.  The Exemptions Tool uses your answers to find exemptions that may work for you. It helps you see if you may qualify and tells you how to apply.  If you do qualify, talk to your tax preparer about receiving an exemption.  No tax preparer should ever collect money from you for not having health insurance, only the IRS can collect the shared responsibility payment.  [You can also read about the exemptions on the IRS web site.]

What Information Do You Need To File Taxes?

Here is a list of documents to bring with you to any tax preparation appointment or gather before you start your tax return online.  Make sure to contact your preparer about any specific requirements for receiving help.

  • Social Security or ITIN numbers for all family members, photo ID

  • W-2 forms for all jobs worked in the previous year

  • Proof of rent or mortgage and property tax payments

  • Childcare provider's name, address and federal tax ID number

  • Blank, voided check or deposit slip to set up direct deposit of refund

  • 1099 forms for other income, including unemployment, retirement, contract work

  • Social Security Letter(s) or W-2s

  • 1095-A, if you had health care from the Marketplace (healthcare.gov)

  • Copy of your last year's return (if available)

  • A heating bill from November 2015 - February 2016 or access to your energy bill online

  • Any other tax-related letters or documents

WHERE Can You go for Free Help? 

VITA - UNITED WAY OF WASHTENAW COUNTY

FREE income tax preparation assistance from the United Way of Washtenaw County for residents making up to $54,000 in 2018.

To schedule an appointment call 734-677-7235 or schedule online here.   Multiple locations can be scheduled online including the agencies below.

  • United Way, 2305 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, 48104. 734-677-7235

  • Manchester Community Resource Center 710 East Main St., Manchester, 48158. 734-428-7722

  • Michigan Works! 304 Harriet St., Ypsilanti, 48197.

  • EMU College of Business 300 W. Michigan Ave. Ypsilanti, 48197.

Many other areas in Michigan have VITA or other tax assistance--use this link to find help in your area.

MYFREETAXES.COM

Do you use a computer?  Do you have access to the computer?  Does your family make $66,000 or less? Myfreetaxes.com is a free online service for tax preparation and filing from United Way and H&R Block.  

Myfreetaxes.com provides email, live chat and telephone support in English and Spanish. 80% of people who filed using this service finished in less than one hour.  If you do not have a computer or would prefer in-person help, computers are available during open VITA clinic hours at the United Way. Computers and volunteer assistance available on a first come, first served basis.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

AARP serves adults (55+) with low incomes. Call to make an appointment or inquire about walk-in times.

  • Housing Bureau for Seniors @ the Turner Center 2401 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, 48105. Call 734-998-9341.

  • Milan Senior Center 45 Neckel Ct., Milan, 48160. Call 734-508-6229.

  • Saline Area Senior Center 7190 N. Maple Rd., Saline, 48176. Call 734-429-9274.

  • Ypsilanti District Library 229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti, 48197. Call 734-482-4110 Ext. 1385.

  • Chelsea Senior Center 512 E. Washington St., Chelsea, 48118. Call 734-475-9242 for Jennifer Smith.

Ann Arbor Senior Center

Ann Arbor Senior Center serves adults (55+) with low incomes. 1320 Baldwin Ave., Ann Arbor, 48104. Call 734-998-9341.

St. Francis

Adults and families with low incomes who have non-complex returns to file. 2150 Frieze Ave., Ann Arbor, 48104. Call 734-769-2550 and ask for Scott Wright.

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A Word Of Advice: Don't Auto-Renew

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The new plans are out, and Open Enrollment is upon us! People who have been enrolled in Marketplace plans in the past may be getting notices offering for them to auto-renew their plans. That sounds easy, but it may not be in your best (financial, or health coverage) interests!

Provider Changes

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First, a plan may sound the same, but providers may decide to affiliate or disaffiliate from year to year. So you always to want to make sure that your doctors take your health insurance.

Financial Changes

The plans that are offered may change also. For instance, in Washtenaw County in 2019, there will be a new health insurance provider—Oscar—that has not previously been in the Michigan health insurance market. And even without that new insurer, some insurers may decide to charge less or more for their plans.

The pricing of these plans matters, because tax credits are based on the actual cost of the second lowest silver plan. That is the benchmark from which all tax credits get calculated.

Let’s say that your income is exactly the same between 2018 and 2019, and you qualify for tax credits. If you auto-renew, you could find yourself paying a whole lot more. Even if the plan has not changed, and the full cost of the plan doesn’t have a big difference, there could still be a big difference in tax credits.

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In this case, in 2018 the Pacesetter A plan was the lowest-cost plan, and in 2019 it is the third-lowest-cost plan. Even though the full cost of the plan only went up by $20, the subsidized cost went up a lot more. In this example, for the same exact plan, and with the same exact income, you could end up paying $70 more per month ($840 more per year), more than double what you paid the year before!

The Moral Of The Story?

Do not Auto-Renew.

Instead, give us a call at 734-544-3030; walk in to our Ypsilanti office M-F 9-4; or find local help at this link.

Remember, Open Enrollment on the Marketplace runs from November 1-December 15, 2018.

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Preparing For Open Enrollment - Employer, Marketplace and Medicaid

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Don’t be frightened! Health care isn’t scary!

Medicaid Enrollment is Always Open.

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You can always apply for Medicaid. Anytime during the year you become eligible, you can apply for Medicaid. No qualifying events, no special documents. Check your income here and apply here. As always if you have questions, call us at 734-544-3030.

Employer Open Enrollment

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If you are offered health insurance through your job, chances are your open enrollment period is in the fall with a January 1, 2019 start date. Some employers (schools, universities, businesses with fiscal years based on other calendars) may have open enrollment during other times of the year.

Evaluate your options every year.

Each year your employer negotiates new benefit packages with health, dental and vision insurance companies. Your open enrollment may also include retirement options, disability and life insurance. When it comes time to evaluate your options make sure to look at each plan. If you don’t understand the details of a benefit, contact your HR department to explain it to you. Here are some tips for thinking about your particular family and your how you use your health insurance.

  1. How much health care do you expect to use?

  2. What is my deductible? What is my maximum out of pocket?

  3. Is my employer insurance affordable? Do I have another option?

You may be wondering if you can sign up on the Marketplace, read more about that option, Do I Have To Take My Employer Healthcare Coverage? (Usually, Yes).

Marketplace Open Enrollment Nov. 1 - Dec. 15

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The Open Enrollment Period for the Marketplace (aka Obamacare, healthcare.gov, ACA) is November 1 to December 15. During open enrollment anyone who is eligible can sign up for health care coverage that will start on January 1, 2019. In order to sign up on the Marketplace ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Am I eligible for Medicaid? If yes, you are not eligible to enroll with tax subsidies on the Marketplace. If you are a family, children may be eligible for Medicaid/MIChild and parents may be eligible for the Marketplace.

  2. Does my employer offer affordable insurance? If your employer insurance is less than 9.69% of your income for the lowest priced, ACA-compliant employee only plan, you are not eligible to enroll with tax credits on the Marketplace. Read more here Do I Have To Take My Employer Healthcare Coverage? (Usually, Yes).

  3. Do you have income and are you filing taxes? You must have income and file taxes to receive tax credits and enroll in health care on the Marketplace.

Information needed for a Marketplace application

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Did you answer yes to all 3 questions? The next step is to gather the documents and information you will need to complete a Marketplace application and select your health care plan. You will need the following:

  • Names and social security numbers for everyone in your tax household. Your tax household includes anyone you will claim on your tax return.

  • Earned income information -recent paystubs for everyone who is working or self-employment records (Schedule C from the previous year’s return).

  • Unearned income information - pension, retirement, real estate income, social security (RSDI or SSI) income or capital gains.

  • 2017 Tax return including Schedule C, if applicable.

  • List of doctors

  • List of prescriptions

  • Marketplace Account information - user id and password.

    • If you don’t have an account and need to create one you will need an active email account that you can access immediately. You must be able to access the email to access a verification email.

The next step is to estimate your income for 2019. For some people this is easy, but for anyone whose income varies during the year, it can be tricky. (We have written many posts about income, click here to browse all the income blogs.)

Now go to the Marketplace website, healthcare.gov, complete an application and select your 2019 health care coverage. You can preview 2019 plans here.

If you have questions, if you need assistance with the application or if you need help with the whole thing, please call the Washtenaw Health Plan and make an appointment. Michigan residents, we can also answer questions over the phone. Call us at 734-544-3030. The sooner you call the better! If you are not in southeast Michigan, use this resource to find local help for healthcare.

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Washtenaw Health Plan

734-544-3030

We Help People - Like You!




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1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: What are they and what do I do with them?

En Espanol-  1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: ¿Qué son y qué debo hacer con ellos?

You may have recently received a form in the mail from DHHS, your employer or the Marketplace. The 1095 form is your "proof of health care coverage" for 2017.  Remember if you did not have health care coverage for more than 3 months, you are required to pay a shared responsibility payment (penalty).  

You will need this form when you go to file your taxes.  There are 3 types of 1095 forms--for Marketplace insurance, public insurance, and employer insurance. If your status changed during the year, or if you had multiple employers, you may get more than one type of 1095!

Form 1095-A

Form 1095-A

1095-A Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

If you had health care coverage through the Marketplace for any part of 2017,  you will receive a 1095-A.  If you selected electronic communications, you will receive an email notifying you that your 1095-A can be downloaded from your Marketplace account at healthcare.gov.  

Your marketplace statement will indicate your tax credit and this form is used to determine whether you may have to pay part of your tax credit back or whether you will receive more of a tax credit. 

Form 1095-A is used to fill out Form 8962 to reconcile the tax credits you received with your actual 2017 income.  (Read about Form 8962 in this blog post!)

Form 1095-B

Form 1095-B

1095-B Health Coverage

You will receive a 1095-B form if your health care was provided by your employer or was provided by the government through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP, MIChild in Michigan), Medicaid, Medicare or a basic health plan.  These forms may not be mailed until after March 2.  The IRS states it is not necessary to file a 1095-B with your taxes. 

Form 1095-C

Form 1095-C

1095-C Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

Employees will receive a 1095-C if you health care was sponsored by your employer.  

Want more details? The IRS has detailed information about the 1095 forms here.

 

Two More Tax Forms

You may also need to reconcile your tax credits with Form 8962 or claim a health coverage exemption with Form 8965.  (Read about Form 8962 in this blog post!)

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Last Two Weeks: Walk-In and Evening Hours! Spread the Word! Tell Your Friends!

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Open Enrollment ends December 15th. Don't miss this window of opportunity!

We have walk-in hours, Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., at 555 Towner in Ypsilanti, MI. You can also call for information or an appointment at 734-544-3030. 

EXTRA!!! SPECIAL EVENING HOURS!!! 12/13 until 8pm!

The WHP office will be open on Wednesday, December 13th until 8 p.m.!!!!

Map to WHP office or call (734)544-3030

HELP US!

Help your friends, clients and community! 

Download and distribute the flyer below.

Friends let friends know:

Dec. 15th is the deadline to sign up for 2018 healthcare on the Marketplace (healthcare.gov).

Here is the link to the poster.

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Don't Be Scared, Healthcare Isn't Spooky! Instead, Get Ready!

If it's Halloween, then Open Enrollment on the Marketplace (healthcare.gov) is just around the corner!  It may also be time for your employer's open enrollment period! 

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Here's What You Need To Get Ready

1. Income information for everyone in your household

For Medicaid and MIChild, you need income information for  the current month/year. If you are applying on the Marketplace, you are trying to project your income and household information for next year (2018).  Income limits for Medicaid and MIChild can help you understand what you are applying for.

2016 Taxes: Your 1040 form (first page), as well as W-2s and  Schedule C or E if you are self-employed. 

Paystubs:  Bring 30 days of the most recent paystubs for anyone who is working.  If you don't have paper copies, make sure you can access your pay information online. 

Self-employment Information: Recent income and expense statement, Schedule C or E. 

Do you have a working teenager in your family?  Read more about whether or not their income counts at  Teens Who Work: Does Their Income Count?

2. Household composition

For the Marketplace, what matters is your tax household. For Medicaid and MIChild, both who is in your tax household and who is living in your house are important. For everyone in your house, you need certain documents. 

Who was in your household this year and who will be in it next year?  (Hint: Is your college senior graduating? Did you just have a baby?)

Social Security Numbers for everyone in the family who has them.

Immigration documents, such as permanent resident green cards, work permits, visas. (People who have DACA status cannot apply on the Marketplace and should contact the WHP for help.)

Home and/or mailing addresses for everyone in the household.

Dates of birth for everyone.

3. Employer coverage

Does your employer offer coverage?  What does it cost?

Your employer can fill out this form to help decide if your employer coverage is affordable and meets minimum coverage standards according to the Affordable Care Act:  Employer Coverage Tool.

In some cases, employer insurance may be affordable for the employee, but not for the rest of the family. Contact the WHP for help in that situation.

Open Enrollment Question: Do I Have To Take My Employer Healthcare Coverage? (Usually, Yes)

4. Log-ins and password

If you had Marketplace insurance, you already have an account.  Find your Marketplace account information sheet or make sure you have the password for your email account. (If you have multiple email accounts, you can usually identify the one with the active healthcare.gov account by searching for emails from healthcare.gov.)

Want Help? We are making appointments now, so call 734-544-3030.

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1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: ¿Qué son y qué debo hacer con ellos?

In English- 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: What are they and what do I do with them? 

Es posible que haya recibido recientemente un formulario por correo de DHHS, su empleador o el Marketplace. El formulario 1095 es su "prueba de cobertura de atención médica" para el año 2017. Recuerde que si usted no tenía cobertura de atención médica por más de 3 meses, se le requiere pagar un pago de responsabilidad compartida (penalidad). 

Necesitará este formulario cuando vaya a presentar sus impuestos. Hay 3 tipos de formularios 1095 - para el seguro del mercado, seguro público y seguro del empleador. Si su estado cambió durante el año, o si tuvo varios empleadores, ¡puede obtener más de uno de estos

1095 - UNA DECLARACIÓN DEL MERCADO DE SEGUROS DE SALUD 

Si usted tenía cobertura de atención médica a través del Mercado de Salud durante cualquier parte de 2017, recibirá un 1095-A. Si seleccionó comunicaciones electrónicas, recibirá un correo electrónico informándole que su 1095-A puede descargarse de su cuenta de Mercado de Seguros en healthcare.gov.

Su declaración del mercado indicará su crédito tributario y este formulario se usará para determinar si tendrá que pagar parte de su crédito tributario de vuelta o si recibirá más de un crédito fiscal. 
El Formulario 1095-A se usa para llenar el Formulario 8962 para conciliar los créditos tributarios que recibió con su ingreso real de 2017. (Lea sobre el Formulario 8962 en el blog!)

 

1095-B COBERTURA DE SALUD
Recibirá un formulario 1095-B si su atención médica fue proporcionada por su empleador o fue proporcionada por el gobierno a través del Programa de Seguro de Salud para Niños (CHIP, MIChild en Michigan), Medicaid, Medicare o un plan básico de salud. 

 

 

1095-C OFERTA Y COBERTURA DE SEGUROS DE SALUD PROPORCIONADO POR EL EMPLEADOR

Los empleados recibirán un 1095-C si la atención médica fue patrocinada por su empleador. 
¿Quieres más detalles? El IRS tiene información detallada sobre los formularios 1095 aquí.

 

DOS FORMAS MÁS DE IMPUESTOS

También puede necesitar reconciliar sus créditos fiscales o reclamar una exención de cobertura de salud - y los formularios 8962 y 8965 le permiten hacer eso. 
Escribiremos más sobre la atención médica y los impuestos en las próximas semanas. ¡Este es solo el comienzo!

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Last Chance Events! Open Enrollment 2017 ends January 31, 2017

There is still time to enroll in the Marketplace (healthcare.gov)!  Enroll before January 31, 2017! 

Need health insurance?  Don't qualify for Medicaid?  No employer health insurance?

Certified Application Counselors are available to help you complete a Marketplace application and choose a health plan.  Call the Washtenaw Health Plan 734-544-3030, walk-in Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm at 555 Towner, Ypsilanti, or attend one of the events below.  

 

Were you enrolled in 2016?  Need to update your information?  You still can!  Maybe you just received your first bill for 2017 and realize that your premium is higher than last year.

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There is still time for you to update your information on the Marketplace and choose a new plan.  Your new plan will start March 1, 2017.  You will have to pay your current plan premiums for January and February, but your new (potentially) cheaper plan will start March 1, 2017.  Get help at one of the events listed below, walk-in to the WHP office or call. 

 

If you qualify for Medicaid - Enrollment is always open!

Get help determining if you or your children are eligible for Medicaid or the Marketplace.  It is not unusual for a parent or parents to have employer or Marketplace (healthcare.gov) health insurance and children to have Medicaid or MiChild healthcare. Go to an enrollment event, call the Washtenaw Health Plan 734-544-3030 or walk-in Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm at 555 Towner, Ypsilanti.

 

Open Enrollment Events

What to bring:  

  • login information for your healthcare.gov account
  • recent paystubs/income info
  • names, birth date and Social Security #s (if you have them) for all members of your household
  • 2015 taxes

 

Ypsilanti Middle School 

Friday, January 27 from 5:00 to 7:00pm

233 Spencer Ln, Ypsilanti, MI 48198  

Show Me the Money Day Along with financial workshops, tax assistance, fun and food, get your questions about health care answered.

 

United Way of Washtenaw County Enrollment Events

Saturday, January 28 from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Tuesday, January 31 from 1:00 to 7:00pm

2305 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

 

Washtenaw Community College Enrollment Event

Thursday, February 2 from 9:00am to 4:00pm

4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

 

Think it's too late for health insurance?  Maybe not.  Read more about enrollment and qualifying life events that would open a Special Enrollment period.  If you have questions, call or walk-in and we will help you figure it out.

We Help People - Like You!

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Preparación de Impuestos Gratuita or Get (Free) Help With Your Taxes!

 

¡NO PAGUE PARA QUE LE PREPAREN SU DECLARACIÓN DE IMPUESTOS!

Usted puede obtener ayuda gratuita si tiene ingresos bajos (menos de $53,000 / año).
La gente necesita ayuda para presentar sus impuestos por muchas razones. Cualquiera que sea su razón, aquí hay algunos grandes recursos.


La Ley del Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (The Affordable Care Act) requiere que la mayoría de las personas tengan cuidado de la salud o paguen una multa (pago de responsabilidad compartida) al menos que califique para una exención. Si usted tenía cuidado médico a través del Mercado de Salud (healthcare.gov) asegúrese de traer su formulario 1095-A con usted cuando vaya a presentar sus impuestos. Su 1095-A está disponible en la sección Mensajes de su cuenta de Mercado de Salud (healthcare.gov). También, puede llamar al Mercado de Salud(1-800-318-2596) y ellos le pueden dar al titular de la cuenta, la información por teléfono.


EXENCIONES DEL PAGO DE RESPONSABILIDAD COMPARTIDA


Si usted es un inmigrante indocumentado que presenta impuestos usando un número ITIN, o si su ingreso es muy bajo, o si su seguro de empleador es demasiado caro, pueda que no tenga que pagar una penalidad. Si usted no está seguro sí califica para una exención, use la herramienta Exenciones de cobertura de salud. La Herramienta de Exenciones utiliza sus respuestas para encontrar exenciones que pueden funcionar para usted. Le ayuda a ver si puede calificar y le dice cómo aplicar. Si califica, hable con su preparador de impuestos sobre como recibir una exención. Ningún preparador de impuestos le debe cobrar dinero por no tener seguro de salud, sólo el IRS puede recoger el pago de responsabilidad compartida.

 

¿QUÉ INFORMACIÓN NECESITA PARA PRESENTAR LOS IMPUESTOS?


Aquí hay una lista de documentos para llevar con usted a cualquier cita de preparación de impuestos o lo que necesita reunir antes de comenzar su declaración de impuestos en línea. Asegúrese de ponerse en contacto el preparador de impuestos acerca de los requisitos necesarios para recibir ayuda.

 

  • Números de Seguro Social para todos los miembros de la familia, identificación con foto
  • Formularios W-2 para todos los trabajos en el año anterior
  • Comprobante de pago de alquiler o hipoteca y pago de impuestos sobre la propiedad
  • Nombre, dirección y número de identificación fiscal federal del proveedor de cuidado infantil
  • Cheque en blanco, anulado o cheque de depósito para establecer el depósito directo del reembolso
  • 1099 formularios para otros ingresos, incluyendo desempleo, jubilación, contrato de trabajo
  • Carta (s) de Seguro Social o W-2s
  • 1095-A, si usted tenía cuidado médico del Mercado de Salud (healthcare.gov)
  • Copia de la declaración de impuestos del último año (si está disponible)
  • Una factura de calefacción de noviembre de 2015 a febrero de 2016 o el acceso a su factura de energía en línea
  • Cualquier otra carta o documento relacionado con impuestos


¿DÓNDE PUEDE IR PARA AYUDA GRATIS?

VITA - UNITED WAY CONDADO DE WASHTENAW
Ayuda gratuita para la preparación de impuestos de United Way del Condado de Washtenaw para residentes que ganan hasta $ 53,000 en 2016.


Llame al 734-677-7235 para programar una cita o llene este formulario. Encuentrenos en United Way, 2305 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, 48104.


Muchas otras áreas en Michigan tienen VITA u otra ayuda de impuesto - utilice este enlace para encontrar ayuda en su área.


MYFREETAXES.COM

¿Usa una computadora? ¿Tiene acceso a una computadora? ¿Su familia gana $64,000 o menos? Myfreetaxes.com es un servicio en línea gratuito para la preparación y presentación de impuestos de United Way y H & R Block.


Myfreetaxes.com ofrece correo electrónico, chat en vivo y asistencia telefónica en inglés y español. El 80% de las personas que presentaron sus impuestos usando este servicio terminaron en menos de 1 hora. Si no tiene una computadora o prefiere ayuda en persona, hay computadoras disponibles durante las horas abiertas de la clínica VITA. Computadoras y asistencia voluntaria son disponibles por orden de llegada.


OFICINA DE VIVIENDA PARA PERSONAS MAYORES Clinica de Impuestos Gratuita

La Oficina de Vivienda para la Clínica de Impuestos para Personas Mayores está tomando citas. La asistencia tributaria es proporcionada por voluntarios capacitados y abierta a individuos de todas las edades. Los voluntarios le puede ayudar con las formas 1040 y créditos Federales y estatales de MIchigan, y las devoluciones enmendadas. La asistencia para completar las exenciones de la pobreza y los aplazamientos de impuestos para disminuir las facturas del impuesto sobre la propiedad también están disponibles.

  • Llame al 734-998-9341 para programar una cita. Disponibilidad limitada.
  • Las citas están disponibles los viernes del 3 de febrero al 7 de abril y los siguientes miércoles; 8 de febrero, 15 de febrero, 15 de marzo y 5 de abril.
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Settling Up: Reconciling Tax Credits

Imagine that you and a friend want to go to the Bruce Springsteen concert. Your friend says, "I'll get the tickets. I think they are selling for between $80 and $120." You say, "How about if I give you $100, and then when you actually find out the cost, we can settle up." Fast forward to the next week, and your friend tells you they cost $120. You pay the additional $20.

 

In a lot of ways, this is just like the Affordable Care Act's Advance Premium Tax Credits. In advance, you make a good faith estimate of the cost--and at the end of the year, you pay more if your income was higher; and less if your income was lower.

Tax household = 25 year old woman (Angela)

Angela's Estimated income = $22,000  

Advance premium tax credit = $117/month or $1404 for the year

Scenario 1

Angela did not work as much as she thought and her W-2 at the end of the year is $17,500.  

Angela's advance premium tax credit should have been $165/month.  She will receive $576 as part of her tax refund.  ($165 - $ 117 = $48, $48 x 12 = $576)

Scenario 2

Angela picks up a second job and makes an extra $3500.  Her W-2s at the end of the year equal $25,500.  Angela's tax credit should have been $74/month.  Now she may not get as much of a tax refund.  

Scenario 3 

Angela loses her job or her hours are cut in half.  Angela is going to make $12,000 for the year.  Angela should report her income change to the Marketplace and apply for Medicaid. 

 

The process of settling up for Advance Premium Tax Credits is called

RECONCILIATION. 

It's important because, if you don't reconcile the tax credits for one year, you can't get tax credits for the next year.

Imagine that you and a friend want to go to the Bruce Springsteen concert. Your friend says, "I'll get the tickets. I think they are selling for between $80 and $120."  You say, "How about if I give you $100, and then when you actually find out the cost, we can settle up."

Fast forward to the next week, and your friend tells you the tickets cost $120. What if you didn't ever pay your friend the extra $20? Your friend probably wouldn't want to advance money for tickets to the next concert.

So, too, with the Affordable Care Act. If you got tax credits in 2014 or 2015, and you didn't reconcile those tax credits when you did your 2014 or 2015 taxes, you will not get tax credits for 2017.

When you receive Advance Premium Tax Credits from the Marketplace, you are agreeing to file taxes for that year and file jointly if you are married at any time during the year. 

Refund Or Payment?

If you earned less than you estimated when you applied on the Marketplace (or if you had more dependents than you expected you would), you will probably be eligible for additional tax credits. This would be added to any tax refund you might get.

If you made more than you estimated when you applied on the Marketplace (or if you had fewer dependents than you thought you would), you probably got too many tax credits, and will owe back money on your taxes.

How Do I Reconcile APTCs?

To reconcile your taxes, you need to have the correct forms and all your income information for the year.  If you were married at any time during the year, you must file jointly with your spouse.  

keepcalmreconcile

The forms you need are 1095-A, IRS form 8962 and a tax preparer.  It is possible to reconcile yourself, you can read the IRS guidance here.  (Also, there is free help from the VITA program in Washtenaw County.) 

What If I Didn't Reconcile Tax Credits For 2014 Or 2015? Can I Catch Up?

You can amend your taxes and submit them to the IRS. Once you have submitted your amended taxes to the IRS, you can go back into your Marketplace application for 2017 and report a life change. This time, you will be able to answer YES to the question, "Have you reconciled tax credits for 2014 or 2015?" You will receive APTCs for the current year and be able to sign up for health care through the Marketplace.

More Resources

Filing Taxes and Marketplace Health Insurance - Form 8962

1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: What are they and what do I do with them?

Tips on How to Amend Your Tax Return from the IRS

IRS.gov

 

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