Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act’s Premium Tax Credit and Your Filing Status

January 5, 2015 : Lindsey Buchholz - The Tax Institute

Ed note: There is a common misconception that once you receive a premium tax credit, you don’t need to do anything differently. If you’ve been filing your federal tax returns as “Married Filing Separately,” that’s not the case. Our experts from The Tax Institute explain. 

When you enroll in health insurance through a Marketplace, you may be eligible for a premium tax credit. This tax credit makes the cost of health insurance more affordable. You may choose to receive it in advance or when you file a tax return for that year. This is why the tax credit is sometimes called the “Advance Premium Tax Credit.”

If that sounds confusing, read more about the Premium Tax Credit.

To qualify for the premium tax credit, you must meet the eligibility criteria. Part of the criteria stipulates that you must file your federal tax return using one of these statuses:

  • Married Filing Jointly
  • Head of Household
  • Single
  • Qualifying Widow(er)

You cannot receive the premium tax credit if you file using the Married Filing Separately filing status.

But we’re talking about the tax code, so there are always exceptions.

You may qualify to claim the premium tax credit and file as married filing separately in cases of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment. If you need help determining whether this may apply to your situation, please contact one of our tax professionals.

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Lindsey Buchholz - The Tax Institute

Lindsey Buchholz - The Tax Institute

H&R Block

Lindsey Buchholz, JD, LLM, MBA, is a program manager at The Tax Institute. Lindsey leads research teams and regulatory implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act across H&R Block.

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