The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is drafting the new version of the instructions for a key piece of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) paperwork, Form 8962 — and the new draft looks even more complicated than the original 2014 version.
Drafters of PPACA made the IRS the administrator and enforcer for many PPACA provisions, including the PPACA premium tax credit program.
Consumers with incomes under 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and above a cut-off that varies from state to state, can use the PPACA premium tax credit to pay for private health insurance sold through the PPACA exchange program.
Most tax credit users are getting the aid in the form of an advance premium tax credit (APTC) that helps pay the premium bills while the coverage year is still under way.
Tax credit users are supposed to use Form 8962 to tell the IRS what kind of coverage they actually had. APTC users should use the form to determine whether they received too much APTC help, and need to pay cash to the IRS, or too little APTC help, and ought to get cash from the IRS.
The premium tax credit program came to life in January 2014, and taxpayers began filing their first 8962 forms in January 2015, when the tax return filing season for the 2014 tax year and health coverage year began.
In April, toward the end of the regular tax return filing season for 2014, H&R Block warned that 8962 filing volume seemed light, and that many tax credit users might be too confused to know how to file the form, or too disconnected from the tax system to realize that the filing requirement existed.
Eventually, taxpayers who rushed into tax preparation offices in April, or who filed late returns, helped close much of the apparent gap between the number of 8962 forms the IRS expected and the number it received.
But, as of May 7, many premium tax credit users had still not filed their 8962s.
Now, the IRS is putting the finishing instructions on the 2015 update. The latest draft has many new and heavily revised sections, including sections informing individual taxpayers about the start of the employer 1095-C coverage reporting system and a new section that explains how Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage fit in.
For a look at some other interesting bits we found when we compared the old form with the new form, read on.
1. It grew.
The 2014 edition of the form filled 15 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheets of printer paper. The version draft fills more than 17 pages of printer paper.