Millions of Americans may experience a delay in receiving their tax refunds next year. If you’re among those who have applied for, and successfully received healthcare benefits through President Obama’s Affordable Care Act initiative, there’s a new form you’re going to have to get from the insurance exchange before you can even file for your 2014 tax return.
This new form is called the 1095-A, which you can take a look at here. The form will list all of the individuals in the household who receive the benefits and how much the government has spent subsidizing their premiums. The forms are to be issued by the same agency that was heading the HealthCare.gov initiative, whose debacle in launching the site last fall has not yet been forgotten.
The Health and Human Services Department (HHSD) had, at that time, launched the website which only riddled most applicants with various errors. It was estimated that only 1% of the interested parties were able to successfully register, but even those who got through failed to have a smooth registration process. Later on, insurance companies were stating that most of the initial applications were missing information.
The lack of confidence in the HHSD primarily stems from that. Justifiably, some tax professionals are concerned that they simply won’t be able to have all the forms out and in the hands of the millions of Americans by the January 31st deadline.
Although it may seem a week or two delay won’t amount to much, it in fact could put a serious strain on the families who depend on their tax returns to fill any financial voids. President Obama’s administration says that the task is on track, but refuses to provide any additional details.
States who operate their own health insurance marketplaces are also required to issue their own forms to those receiving their benefits. Though the biggest responsibility falls on the shoulders of the HHSD to get the forms to the individuals residing in the 36 states that it serves. The fact that they’re going to have to manage that and the 2015 registrations simultaneously may in fact delay the 1095-A’s timely delivery.
Although some seem confident the forms will arrive on time, it cannot be ignored there’s a real possibility of a negative outcome. Unfortunately, all recipients can do is idly wait for that day to arrive and hope the mess from last fall was a one-time incident.