Thursday, March 31, 2016

Setting the Record Straight about Health Care Law Forms

As you’re wrapping up your tax return, the IRS wants to help you understand the differences among forms and documents related to the Affordable Care Act. Here are five tips for individuals navigating the filing requirements related to the health care law.

1. Don’t send health care information forms or proof of coverage to the IRS when you file your tax return

You may receive one or more forms providing information about the health care coverage that you had or that your employer offered in 2015. These forms provide information you may need when you prepare your individual income tax return.  However, you should not attach any of these forms to your tax return.

The information forms are:
You will not need to send the IRS proof of your health coverage. However, you should keep any documentation with your other tax records. This includes records of your family’s employer-provided coverage, premiums paid, and type of coverage.

2. Consider health coverage exemptions to avoid paying more than necessary

If you do not have health coverage but meet certain criteria, you will be exempt from the coverage requirement under the individual shared responsibility provision and will not have to make a shared responsibility payment when you file your federal income tax return.

You can claim most exemptions when you file your tax return and do not have to file an application with the Marketplace for most exemptions. However, you must apply for certain exemptions in advance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  This includes coverage exemptions for certain hardship situations and for members of certain religious sects.

Claim or report coverage exemptions on Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, and file it with Form 1040, Form 1040A, and Form 1040EZ. Each of these forms can be filed electronically.

3. Don’t confuse Form 8962 and Form 8965

If you received the benefit of advance credit payments, you must file a tax return and file Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, with your tax return. Use Form 8962 to reconcile the amount of advance credit payments made on your behalf with the amount of your actual premium tax credit.

File Form 8965 to claim a coverage exemption on your tax return or to report a coverage exemption granted by the Marketplace.

If you have to make a payment, you can use the worksheets located in the instructions to Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, to figure the shared responsibility payment amount due.

4. File electronically

Taxpayers and their tax professionals should consider filing returns electronically. Using tax preparation software is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return as it guides individuals and tax preparers through the process and does all the math. There are a variety of electronic filing options, including free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File for taxpayers who qualify, commercial software, and professional assistance.

5. Learn more about the health care law on

View our questions and answers for details about health care information forms. Use our interactive tax assistance tool to determine if you are eligible for a coverage exemption. Find answers to your questions about the health care law and filing your 2015 income tax return on

Don’t be Fooled; IRS Scams Continue to Pose Serious Threat

The Internal Revenue Service has some advice for taxpayers this April Fool’s Day that  may prevent them from being the victim of a tax scam: Don’t be fooled by scammers. Stay safe and be informed. Here are some of the most recent IRS-related scams to be on the lookout for:

Telephone Scams. Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation, license revocation and more. These con artists often demand payment of back taxes on a prepaid debit card or by immediate wire transfer. Be alert to con artists impersonating IRS agents and demanding payment.

Note that the IRS will never:
  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Scammers Change Tactics. The IRS is receiving new reports of scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone. The latest variation on this scam uses the current tax filing season as a hook. Scam artists call saying they are from the IRS and have received your tax return, and they just need to verify a few details to process it. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.

Tax Refund Scam Artists Posing as TAP. In this new email scam targeting taxpayers, people are receiving emails that appear to come from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a volunteer board that advises the IRS on issues affecting taxpayers. They try to trick you into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click the links in these emails. If you receive an email that appears to be from TAP regarding your personal tax information, forward it to

E-mail, Phishing and Malware Schemes. The IRS has seen an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents so far in the 2016 tax season.

The emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. The phishing schemes can ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics. Emails can seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.

Variations of these scams can be seen via text messages, and the communications are being reported in every section of the country.

When people click on these email links, they are taken to sites designed to imitate an official-looking website, such as The sites ask for Social Security numbers and other personal information, which could be used to help file false tax returns. The sites also may carry malware, which can infect your computer and allow criminals to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information.

If you get a ‘phishing’ email, the IRS offers this advice:
  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to Then delete it.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.
More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on

Additional IRS Resources:

IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2016

RP-2016-18: March 2016 Supplement to Rev. Proc. 2014-64, Implementation of Nonresident Alien Deposit Interest Regulations

Revenue Procedure 2016-18 updates Rev. Proc. 2015-50 (published in 09/15) to add countries to the list of countries set forth in Section 4 of Rev Proc 2014-64. Section 4 lists countries with which the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that it is appropriate to have an automatic exchange relationship with respect to bank deposit interest information collected on certain nonresident alien individuals under§§1.6049-8(a) and 1.6049-4(b)(5). Rev. Proc. 2016-18 supplements that list of countries by adding three additional ones that have recently completed a FATCA-related safeguards assessment.

Revenue Procedure 2016-18 will be in IRB 2016-16, dated April 18, 2016.