Your federal income taxes after the new health care law

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The individual shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act (26 U.S. Code Section 5000A) went into effect on January 1, 2014. This provision of the Affordable Care Act requires individuals of all ages, and their dependents, to have “minimum essential coverage” of health care for the year or to qualify for an exemption. If an individual and his or her claimed dependents do not have the minimum essential coverage of health care or an exemption, the individual may be required to make a penalty payment when filing the federal income tax return starting in the 2015 tax filing season.

If you are a servicemember, dependent, or Department of the Army civilian you most likely already have the minimum coverage under your current health insurance plan. The following types of health care plans meet the “minimum essential coverage” definition under the new health care law: employer-sponsored coverage, including self-insured plans, COBRA coverage and retiree coverage; most Medicaid coverage; certain types of veterans health coverage administered by the Veterans Affairs; most types of TRICARE coverage under chapter 55 of title 10 of the United States Code; coverage purchased in the individual market, including a qualified health plan offered by the Health Insurance Marketplace

Beginning January 2016, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will provide Internal Revenue Service form 1095 to military members, military retirees, and federal civilian employees. The information on form 1095 (B or C) is necessary for the filing of the 2015 income tax return. Form 1095 provides information to report on the income tax return that the tax filer and claimed dependents had qualifying health coverage (minimum essential coverage) during the prior year. If the tax filer fails to show minimum essential coverage for the tax filer and claimed dependents or that the tax filer was eligible for an exemption, he or she could be liable for the individual shared responsibility payment.

The healthcare information that is reported on form 1095 has already been provided to the IRS. To avoid errors and delays with the processing of your income tax return, ensure you report the form 1095 information accurately. If you believe that you or one of your dependents did not have minimum essential coverage for every month last year, there are a number of exemptions. You can go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions to review the exemptions. The website also has a tutorial that walks you through the possible exemptions using a series of specific questions.

Need to file your taxes for tax year 2015 or have specific questions about your taxes? Contact the Fort Irwin Tax Center at 380-3604. The tax center would be happy to schedule an appointment for you with one of our IRS-trained-and-certified tax preparers. The tax center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at the Fort Irwin Legal Assistance Office, in building 230, at the corner of Third and C Avenues

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