Did you receive tax credits to help you pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare? Have you filed your 2014 income tax return yet?

If you haven’t filed or if you forgot to include Form 8962 Premium Tax Credit when you did file, you need to get to a tax preparer now or you could risk losing your tax credits for health insurance coverage in 2016. That goes for you even if you received an extension to file your taxes by October 15.

Why file? Why now? 

The health care law says that anyone who receives tax credits to help pay health insurance premiums needs to file a tax return. The longer it takes to get your tax information into the system, the longer it will take for the IRS to share that information with the health insurance Marketplace. If the Marketplace doesn’t have your information when it opens enrollment on November 1, you may not be eligible for tax credits for health insurance coverage in 2016.

How do I know if this affects me?  

Most of the people who needed to file have done so, so this may not affect you. However, almost 2 million households that received premium tax credits have not yet filed their 2014 federal tax return or failed to include proper paperwork when they did file. That includes three groups of households:

  • 760,000 who filed the 2014 tax return but didn’t include Form 8962 Premium Tax Credit;
  • 710,000 who did not file a tax return or request an extension;
  • 360,000 who requested and received a six-month tax extension.

The IRS recently sent letters to these households, urging them to file within 30 days of receipt or risk losing their 2016 health care subsidies. If you received Letter 5591, 5591A or 5596, then you need to head to your tax preparer to file a 2014 federal income tax return or get the needed paperwork to the IRS.

Remember, delay could jeopardize your health care tax credits. You could also be asked to repay credits you already have received. Both would mean higher health care bills for you in 2016.

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