If you received an extension of time to file your 2015 federal tax return, you have until Oct. 17 to double check your return and information on it that is related to the Affordable Care Act. The health care law includes the individual shared responsibility provision and the premium tax credit that may affect your return.
Many people already have minimum essential coverage. If this applies to you, you’ll simply report your coverage when you file your tax return by checking a box on your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ.
Most taxpayers simply need to check a box on their tax return to indicate you had health coverage for all of 2015. For any month that you or anyone in your family did not have minimum essential coverage, you need to either claim or report a coverage exemption or make a shared responsibility payment when you file your tax return.
If you enrolled in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit. If you benefited from advance payments of the premium tax credit, you must file a federal income tax return to reconcile your advance credit payments, even if you’re otherwise not required to file. Failing to file will prevent you from receiving advance credit payments in future years.
The Interactive Tax Assistant tool can help you determine if you qualify for an exemption, if you need to make a payment, or if you are eligible for the premium tax credit. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/aca for additional information on how the Affordable Care Act affects their return.
Remember that filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. Electronic filing options include free Volunteer Assistance, IRS Free File, commercial software and professional assistance.
Before filing the 2015 return, be sure to make a copy and keep it and all supporting documents for a minimum of three years. Doing so will make it easier to fill out a 2016 return next year. In addition, you will often need the adjusted gross income amount from your 2015 return to properly e-file your 2016 return.