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Number of ACA mystery tax returns falls

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U.S. taxpayers may be doing a better job of complying with Affordable Care Act health insurance reporting rules.

The ACA now requires many people to have solid health coverage, or “minimum essential coverage,” for most of the year or else pay a penalty when they file their federal income taxes.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says in a new report that 121.5 million individual tax returns for 2015 gave the Internal Revenue Service information about whether or not the filer’s family had minimum essential coverage in 2015.

That was up from 114.3 million filers who gave the IRS information about 2014 coverage when they filed their returns for 2014, the year the new ACA tax rules took effect.

Related: IRS may have big ACA employer tax woes, advocate says

The number of individual returns that included no information about health coverage fell to 18.1 million for the 2015 returns processed by May 5, 2016.

A year earlier, the IRS had processed 23 million individual returns for 2014 that provided no 2014 health coverage information.

The percentage of individual returns processed that included health coverage information increased to 87 percent for the 2015 tax returns, from 83 percent for the 2014 returns.

TIGTA also gave a new, updated version of 2015 ACA premium tax credit information that was included in a National Taxpayer Advocate report released in January.

TIGTA found that the number of tax return filers who used Form 8962 to report use of ACA premium tax credits increased to 5.3 million for 2015, from 3 million for 2014.

Taxpayers reported qualifying for a total of $20.3 billion in premium tax credits for 2016, up from $9.1 billion for 2014. The average amount of tax credit help per filer increased to $3,830, from $3,267 in 2014. 


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