Itemized receipts? Check.
Form 1095-A. Wait, what?
There’s no worse time than tax season to realize you have no idea what one of your IRS forms is. Don’t tax yourself trying to figure it all out on your own. Consider this your guide to what you need to know about this form before you close the book on your taxes.
What Is Form 1095-A?
You’ll get this form in the mail if you bought health insurance through one of the public health insurance exchanges called the Marketplace. The form provides information about your insurance policy, including who’s covered and what your premiums cost. The information on the form allows you to see whether you qualify for the premium tax credit and fill out the form needed to claim the credit. The credit, associated with the Affordable Care Act, helps offset the cost of your insurance premiums. Only people who bought insurance through the Marketplace are eligible for this tax break.
Insurance companies that are part of the Marketplace send both you and the IRS a copy of the form. You’ll need the information on it to fill out IRS Form 8962 to claim the tax credit. If your income qualifies you for the tax credit, you have two options: You can either use the credit to reduce your taxes or to reduce your insurance premiums. Some tax software like TurboTax automatically helps you fill out IRS Form 8962 and attaches Form 1095-A along with it.
What About Forms 1095-B and -C?
There’s more? Yes, but not too much more. Forms 1095-B and -C vary by who sends you the form and what its purpose is.
- Form 1095-B. Your health insurance company may send you this if you were enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance coverage or you obtained an individual policy. The form is for your records — it shows that you were covered and includes your policy type and the months you had coverage.
- Form 1095-C. Your employer will give you this form. It also gathers information for your records. Specifically, it breaks down whether you had access to and were enrolled in employer-subsidized insurance by month.
What Else Should I Know About Form 1095-A?
Now you know the basics. But there are a few more wrinkles you might run into.
- What if the information on the form is wrong? If your form is incorrect in any way — including wrong names, policy, coverage dates or premium amounts — you’ll need to call the Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 and ask for a corrected form.
- What if I get two forms? If you get more than one form, you likely either had two different policies or got married in the policy year. You’ll need to add the amounts of both forms together and enter the total on Form 8962.
- What if I didn’t get my form in the mail? If you didn’t receive Form 1095-A and you purchased insurance through the Marketplace, you can log on to your Healthcare.gov account, select your 2018 application and find the form under “tax forms.”
- Can I still apply for the tax credit with a deadline extension? Yes! If you’ve received a tax deadline extension, you’ll have to file Form 8962 and Form 1095-A by your extended deadline, October 15, 2019.
Most pieces of paper aren’t actually that important — no one will shed any tears for the pile of receipts lying forgotten at the bottom of your bag. The IRS, on the other hand, takes its paper game seriously. Get a stack of forms from them, and you probably want to pay attention. But that doesn’t mean letting taxes stress you out. Some forms are your friend, and this one definitely falls in that category. Fill out your 1095-A with confidence and see what you get out of it. It might just be a much-appreciated tax credit.