Almost 1 million Obamacare buyers get wrong tax form info
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Remember the advice to check your tax statements as soon as they arrive for accuracy?
These are the sundry 1099s and W-2s and other tax-related documents that have information and amounts you must report on your tax return. Wrong form info means wrong 1040s and lots of filing follow-up hassles.
It's still a recommended practice. But almost a million folks who purchased health insurance through an Affordable Care Act health insurance last year don't have to bother. They're getting word from issuers of 1095-A forms that those documents have errors.
Federal, California issues: Around 800,000 of those folks are going to be contacted by HealthCare.gov directly about the errors on their 1095-A forms.
Another 100,000 or so in California who purchased coverage through the California Covered exchange will be getting corrected forms later this month.
Government officials say another 50,000 have already filed using the wrong data.
Form 1095-A info helps recipients reconcile advance premium tax credits they used to offset the cost of buying their policies. Folks who didn't get the credit upfront will use the forms' figures to determine if they can claim the premium credit at filing time.
The wrong information means that the affected Obamacare purchasers will have to wait for the right form to file and get any refund they are due. The changes to the forms also could mean those refunds might be more or less.
Waiting game: HealthCare.gov is urging folks with incorrect 1095-As to wait to file their federal returns.
It you just can't, the website has an online tool that can help you get the correct data or you can call the federal marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325) for assistance.
And if you're among those 50,000 who have already filed your taxes using the wrong data on your 1095-A, HealthCare.gov says it will soon be posting information on what to do.
Expected reactions: The White House, which had been enjoying a smooth second enrollment period, tried to downplay the form errors.
Report from The Hill newspaper's Jesse Byrnes via Twitter
While statistically that might well be correct, if you're one of the "very small fraction" and anxiously awaiting your tax refund, it's a very big concern.
The White House characterization came across as too flip. And it provoked reactions from several anti-Obamacare lawmakers, including Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
Other Obamacare filing problems: As I noted last week at my other tax blog, some folks who got correct 1095-A forms are encountering other Obamacare filing problems.
They are discovering that they got too much government help to buy ACA insurance and must pay it back. They either have to come up with the cash or see their refunds reduced.
Refunds also were the subject of my other Bankrate post last week. A federal lawsuit is challenging Internal Revenue Service offsets of allegedly overpaid Social Security benefits.
I usually post my additional tax thoughts at Bankrate Taxes Blog on Tuesday and Thursday. If you miss those original posts, you'll find highlights here the following weekend.
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