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Unraveling This Year's New Tax Forms

This year, taxpayers must file forms with the IRS proving they had health-insurance coverage last year. (Veronica Carter)
This year, taxpayers must file forms with the IRS proving they had health-insurance coverage last year. (Veronica Carter)
February 29, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - If you haven't already done your taxes, you might be surprised about some new forms that are part of the Affordable Care Act.

They have to be filed to prove that you had health insurance in 2015. They differ depending on whether you bought it through an online marketplace, your employer or through a private plan.

Andrew Zumwalt is an assistant professor of financial planning for the University of Missouri Extension.

He says the Internal Revenue Service wants proof you were covered. He says that's different from when you filed your taxes last year.

"The difference is the IRS never really received proof that you had insurance, they just kind of took your word for it," says Zumwalt. "This year, in 2015, when you're filing your taxes you'll actually receive a form 1095 A, B, or C."

The 1095A is if you bought insurance through the health marketplace, "B" is proof of insurance from a broker, insurance company or a small employer, and "C" is proof from a large employer.

Zumwalt says it gets a little tricky if you bought through the online marketplace because the coverage came with an advanced premium tax credit.

"If you underestimated your income, you actually made a little bit more during the year than what you told the government, then you may have to repay some of that premium tax credit," he says. "If you overestimated your income, then you actually will receive a little bit more subsidy, and so your refund will actually go up a little bit."

If you don't file the correct information, you may be disqualified from receiving assistance, or from accessing the marketplace altogether. If you can't prove you had insurance in 2015, you'll have to pay a penalty.

Zumwalt says another thing to keep in mind is you'll have to fill out a 1095C if you were offered insurance but declined it. You'll need to fill out the form to prove that it was unaffordable.

"If you had insurance all year, which most people do through their employer, then you simply mark on your tax return that you had full coverage and you move on," says Zumwalt. "The IRS will receive these forms, and they will take the form and double-check that you actually had insurance for the entire year, and for everyone listed on your tax return."

A single person making less than $10,300 and a married couple filing jointly making less than $20,600 do not need to have health insurance. If you live in a state that did not expand Medicaid, you're exempt as well.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO