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Help Clients Prepare for Tax Time

August 2018

ACE TA Center

Tax time is here, and some of your clients will need to file for the first time!

Share these key messages with your clients to help them get ready. They may also be eligible for free tax help.

If clients were enrolled in a 2018 Marketplace health plan:

  • They should receive IRS Form 1095-A (Health Insurance Marketplace Statement) in the mail by early February. This form contains important information to help consumers complete their 2018 federal income tax return. Remind them to keep an eye out for this important document!
  • Some clients must file a tax return. If they received premium assistance in 2018 through advance payments of the Premium Tax Credit (PTC), or if they want to claim a PTC, they must file a tax return and complete IRS Form 8962 (Premium Tax Credit).

If clients did not have coverage OR had a short gap in coverage (less than three consecutive months) in 2018:

  • They can apply for an exemption from the requirement to have health coverage when they file their 2018 taxes (or they might have to pay a fee). Low-income individuals and those who live in non-expansion states are most likely to qualify for an exemption.
  • Through the end of 2018, the federal government required most people to have health coverage that met certain minimum standards. If a person did not  have health coverage and did not qualify for an exemption, they will be required to pay a fee. Everyone who files taxes for calendar year 2018 must report whether or not they had health coverage on their 2018 federal tax returns.
  • Starting with calendar year 2019, you will no longer be required to show proof of health coverage on your federal tax return, and you will not pay a federal fee for not having insurance. People in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. will still be required to show proof of coverage when filing their state tax return to avoid a state fee for not having coverage.

Use these resources to help your clients prepare for tax time.

Consumer Resources

  • Taxes and Health Coverage: What You Need to Know
    Source: ACE TA Center
    This mobile-friendly resource helps answer client's common questions about health coverage and taxing filing, including if they need to file taxes, what forms they should have with them, and how to get help filing taxes. 
  • Consumer Fact Sheets: Marketplace Coverage and Your Taxes
    Source: CMS Health Insurance Marketplace
    CMS has a tax information page with various consumer resources, including fact sheets to provide information about tax forms, premium tax credits, and how to file an exemption for consumers that did not have coverage for part of 2018.
  • Free Tax Help for Qualifying Taxpayers
    Source: IRS
    The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to qualifying taxpayers with incomes below $54,000. Learn more about the VITA program and find free tax help. The IRS also provides free tax filing software for people with incomes below $62,000.
  • Form 1095-A and your 2018 federal incomes taxes
    Source: Blog
    This blog post provides key information for consumers about Form 1095-A and exemptions for people who did not have minimum essential coverage throughout 2018.

Resources for RWHAP Grant Recipients and Subrecipients

  • FAQ: Premium Tax Credits (PTCs) and Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSRs) 
    Source: ACE TA Center
    In this FAQ, learn how PTCs and CSRs can help clients pay premiums and lower the amount they have to pay out-of-pocket for deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments.
  • Health Reform Issue Brief: ACA Federal Tax Filing Requirements
    Source: NASTAD
    This issue brief focuses on: premium tax credit reconciliation, exemptions from the penalty for not having insurance coverage, and how these provisions may interact with HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: The Affordable Care Act & Mixed-Status Families
    Source: National Immigration Law Center
    This resource covers FAQs about immigrant eligibility for health insurance.

Related ACE TA Center Resources


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