The Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that taxpayers do not have to file amended returns if they already filed their 2014 tax returns relying on forms sent by the government that contained incorrect information about their health coverage and any advance premium tax credit they received. The IRS said it will not pursue any additional taxes owed due to the mistake.
Last Friday, the IRS announced that about 800,000 taxpayers (20% of the people receiving the form) had received incorrect Forms 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, for 2014.
For affected taxpayers, an incorrect amount was printed in Part III, column B, of Form 1095-A. Taxpayers who obtained insurance through HealthCare.gov receive Form 1095-A, which explains their coverage and details any premium tax credit they received in advance. Last week’s announcement said that affected Forms 1095-A included the monthly premium amount of the second-lowest-cost Silver plan for 2015 instead of for 2014. However, the announcement said that the amount of the premium tax credit taxpayers received was not wrong.
This week, the IRS said that those taxpayers who have already filed their 2014 tax returns using the incorrect forms (which is estimated to be about 50,000 returns) do not have to file amended returns because the IRS has decided not to pursue any additional taxes owed due to the mistake. However, the IRS also noted that some taxpayers may be owed a refund when the correct information is reported and that they would want to file an amended return.
A tax filer is likely to benefit from amending if the 2015 monthly premium for his or her second lowest cost Silver plan (or “benchmark” plan) is less than the 2014 premium. As an example of a mistaken amount on a form for which a taxpayer should consider filing an amended return, the IRS explained that if the original amount for the Silver plan on the form was $100 and the corrected amount is $200, the taxpayer may be due a tax refund. The IRS advised taxpayers to consult their tax preparers to determine whether to file an amendment.
Taxpayers who have not filed yet should wait to receive their corrected forms before filing. According to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services website, taxpayers can log on to their account at HealthCare.gov to find out whether the Form 1095-A they received is incorrect.
— Sally P. Schreiber ( email@example.com ) is a JofA senior editor.