What I’m Asking My Clients Regarding the ACA

Image courtesy of user Nemo on Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of user Nemo on Pixabay.com

The Affordable Care Act is understandably causing much angst among tax preparers. I’m one of those anguished preparers.

I’ve noticed, in looking at the stat tracking for this blog, that there are tax pros coming here in search of what questions they should be asking clients regarding the ACA. (Note: prior to this blog post, you won’t find this topic addressed in any prior posts by me, but somehow Google is directing people to my blog anyway.)

Here’s what I’m asking on the organizer I give to clients:

  1. Where did you obtain insurance: Employer; Insurance Exchange; Medicare/Medicaid; Private policy; I do not have insurance. (I also include in bold that they should be prepared to provide me a copy of their insurance card.
  2. If you were covered by insurance, were you covered all 12 months of 2014? If not, how many months were you uninsured?
  3. If you are married, was your spouse covered by insurance, and if so, where did they obtain coverage?
  4. Are your children or other dependents covered by insurance, and if so, where did they obtain coverage?
  5. If you are not covered by insurance, did you apply for a hardship exemption?
  6. If you receive a subsidy from an insurance exchange, please provide the Form 1095-A.
  7. If you happened to receive any other type of Form 1094 or 1095, please provide it.

Sometimes it feels like I should be asking more. But I honestly don’t know what those additional questions would be.

It’s been a slow start to the season for me, as I have only worked on 4 tax returns so far. All 4 taxpayers have insurance, and only one got insurance through an exchange. That taxpayer is waiting on the Form 1095-A before we can proceed. I don’t anticipate any ACA issues with that one or the other 3.

Almost all of my clients have insurance through employers, so I’m hoping — knock on wood — that the ACA might be just a nuisance and not a nasty part of tax season for me. But it’s still extremely early!