Officials at the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) have shed some more light on the workings of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) commercial health insurance provisions.
Officials at the agency, which keeps tabs on the operations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), have included early data on IRS processing of PPACA-related tax return information, and PPACA-related taxpayer service efforts, in a report on the 2015 filing season.
Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, gave more information on IRS handling of taxpayers’ questions about PPACA in written testimony presented April 15 at a hearing organized by the House Oversight and Government Reform government operations subcommittee.
TIGTA officials found that, as of March 6, the IRS had received a total of 66.7 million tax returns for the 2014 tax year, or 0.7 percent fewer than it had received at the same point in 2014, for the 2013 tax year.
The IRS had issued a total of 54 million refunds for 2014, with an average of value of $2,988 per refund.
Most of the individual and family filers at least had to check a box indicating whether they had “minimum essential coverage” (MEC) throughout 2014, and could avoid having to pay the “shared responsibility” penalty that PPACA imposes on many people who fail to meet requirements.
Consumers who used PPACA premium tax credit money to pay for PPACA exchange plan coverage in advance had to report on their exchange coverage, use of premium tax credits, and income, to reconcile their actual income and premium tax credit eligibility with the “advance premium tax credit” (APTC) help they received based on income estimates made before the start of the tax year.
For a look at what TIGTA officials and Olson found about how the IRS has been handling PPACA tax matters, read on.
1. Some taxpayers who failed to own MEC throughout 2014 are taking responsibility for paying individual shared responsibility penalties.
Since President Obama signed PPACA in 2010, the law has called for most individuals who failed to own MEC throughout most of 2014 to pay a penalty amounting to about 1 percent of income when they filed their 2014 income taxes.
PPACA also created an elaborate system of exemptions individuals could use to avoid having to pay the MEC penalty.
See also: Highways to PPACA tax penalty freedom