The Treasury Department announced that taxpayers do not have to file amended returns if they already filed their 2014 tax returns relying on forms sent by the government that contained incorrect information about their health coverage and any advance premium tax credit they received. The IRS said it will not pursue any additional taxes owed due to the mistake.However, the IRS also noted that some taxpayers may be owed a refund when the correct information is reported and that they would want to file an amended return.
A tax filer is likely to benefit from amending if the 2015 monthly premium for his or her second lowest cost Silver plan (or “benchmark” plan) is less than the 2014 premium. As an example of a mistaken amount on a form for which a taxpayer should consider filing an amended return, the IRS explained that if the original amount for the Silver plan on the form was $100 and the corrected amount is $200, the taxpayer may be due a tax refund. The IRS advised taxpayers to consult their tax preparers to determine whether to file an amendment.
Taxpayers who have not filed yet should wait to receive their corrected forms before filing. According to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services website, taxpayers can log on to their account at HealthCare.gov to find out whether the Form 1095-A they received is incorrect.
Following the end of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) open enrollment period for 2015 on February 15, Democrat lawmakers have urged the US Administration to grant a special enrollment period for individuals paying a shared responsibility payment – or tax penalty – for 2014. The ACA’s provisions give tax incentives to individuals to offset health care expenses, but they also impose penalties, administered through the tax code on their tax returns each year, on individuals who do not obtain “minimum essential” health care coverage for themselves or their families.
As many people will wait until the end of the tax season in April to file their 2014 tax returns, it has been pointed out that many taxpayers may only find out that they are subject to a tax penalty at that time. The US Treasury Department has estimated that between 3m and 6m taxpayers may have to make a shared responsibility payment. In addition, many of these individuals may want to enroll in coverage to avoid the penalty again in 2015, only to find that open enrollment for 2015 coverage closed on February 15. The Democrat lawmakers have proposed that a special enrollment period, of about 60 additional days, would allow these uninsured individuals another chance to enroll.