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Many who received Obamacare premium subsidies have to pay back portion. Our Health Care Reform Calculator and other tips may smooth out 2015 tax filing.

Many who received Obamacare premium subsidies have to pay back portion. Our Health Care Reform Calculator and other tips may smooth out 2015 tax filing.

Posted May 08, 2015 by Author

H&R Block’s analysis of 2014 taxpayer filing outcomes shows two-thirds of taxpayers receiving premium subsidies for health insurance had to return portions of them to Uncle Sam due to incorrect income estimates.

An April 28, 2015 article from BenefitsPro.com, an online resource for employee benefits and retirement professionals, reported the findings from the industry tax preparer giant. The average payback amount was $729. However, about one-fourth of those who received subsidies received money back because they had overpaid. The average amount returned: $425.

The report isn’t a surprise, considering the IRS’ statement that very few taxpayers correctly estimated their 2014 incomes.  Those who were issued inaccurate information from the federal government have until October 15 to file their taxes.

H&R Block’s analysis1 also reports:  

  • Bronze plan-covered individuals experienced the lowest incidence of repayment because the lower premiums of bronze plans eased the income estimate process. Bronze plan taxpayers received the lowest average premium tax credit, $890 for the year.
  • The average individual shared responsibility payment for those who chose not to select ACA-compliant coverage, or minimum essential coverage, was $178. (Many taxpayers, especially young people, chose to pay the penalty because it was substantially lower than most plan annual premiums.)
  • 96 percent of those who qualified for and filed a penalty exemption (IRS Form 8965) claimed a tax return exemption instead of using the marketplace exemption process. Taking an exemption saved taxpayers penalties averaging $120.

Since we are only one-third into 2015, you have plenty of time to extract the anxiety from this subsidy-related tax issue. Jay E. Troska, the president of Jay E. Troska, CPA, Ltd. in Las Vegas, Nev., offers these tips to those who may be eligible for subsidies.

  • If you are uncertain what your 2015 income may be, “Project a little on the high side,” Troska suggests. “If you’re high, and your income turns out to be lower, you might actually get more back.”
  • If your income has been fairly steady from year to year, the amount “should be predictable,” he says. However, “If you know income is going to be different, look at the last pay stub and project out the rest of the year.”
  • Know what adjusted gross income is; it is not necessarily total wages. “It depends on what (other income) is coming in,” explains Troska. “Look at last year’s return’s adjusted gross income. The first page of the 1040 will indicate all the components that comprise it. It’s not just wages. It’s other income—investment income, alimony income, anything like that.”
  • Factor in Health Savings Account. “If they’re doing an HSA, the amount they contribute to that is subtracted from income to determine household income,” Troska states.

And here’s another helpful resource if your income is changing: Our Health Care Reform Calculator estimates your 2015 tax credit and ACA penalty for non-participation in an ACA-compliant plan.

Try it


1 www.benefitspro.com, “PPACA takes big bite out of tax refunds,” April 8, 2015

This document is for general informational purposes only. While we have attempted to provide current and accurate information, this information is provided "as is" and we make no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind. External users should seek professional advice from their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.

About The IHC Group
The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. Members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC), American Independence Corp. (NASDAQ: AMIC), Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. (An A++ rating from A.M. Best is its highest rating.) Collectively, the companies in The IHC Group provide insurance coverage to more than one million individuals and groups. For more information about The IHC Group, visit www.ihcgroup.com.

About IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.
IHC Specialty Benefits, doing business as Health eDeals Insurance Solutions is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Health eDeals markets products through general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers. For more information about Health eDeals visit http://www.HealtheDeals.com