Thursday, April 4, 2013

Buyer Beware: New Health Ins. Subsidies Could Result in Surprise Federal Tax Bills Later

Reported in the Associated Press:

Millions of people who take advantage of government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills if they don't accurately project their income. … The subsidies are based on income. The lower your income, the bigger the subsidy. ...

What happens if you or your spouse gets a raise and your family income goes up in 2014? You could end up with a bigger subsidy than you are entitled to. If that happens, the law says you have to pay back at least part of the money when you file your tax return in the spring of 2015. ...

There are also special rules that protect people who marry or divorce from being required to pay back subsidies just because their marital status changes.

There are four thresholds for repaying the subsidies:

    • A family of four making less than $47,000 would have to repay a maximum of $600.
    • If the same family makes between $47,000 and $70,000, the amount they have to repay is capped at $1,500.
    • If the same family makes between $70,000 and $94,200, the amount is capped at $2,500.
    • Families making more than four times the poverty level have to repay the entire subsidy....