Tax Refunds and Affordable Care Act Reconciliation

Research Report

Tax Refunds and Affordable Care Act Reconciliation

Abstract

People may purchase subsidized health insurance through the ACA exchanges with premiums based on projected future income. However, if actual income is higher than estimated, they may be required to repay part or all of the subsidy when they file tax returns. This “reconciliation” process could raise taxes substantially for many ACA participants. However, analysis of income tax return data suggests that for most lower-income filers, the reconciliation will reduce the refund they receive rather than require them to remit additional tax because their refunds exceed the reconciliation amount. We conclude by making suggestions to improve the reconciliation process.

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