QUESTION

I never filed an income tax return before. Can I claim a premium tax credit?

Individuals with no coverage | How Premium Tax Credits And Cost-Sharing Reductions Work
ANSWER

If this is your first time applying for the premium tax credit, then yes. There is no requirement to have filed a tax return for any prior year in order to qualify for a premium tax credit for the first time. However, there is a requirement to file a tax return in the year in which you receive a premium tax credit and to reconcile the advance payments of premium tax credits using IRS Form 8962. Otherwise, you will not be eligible for premium tax credit in the future. For example, if you received premium tax credits in 2016 and did not file a 2016 tax return and reconcile any advance premium tax credits received with IRS Form 8962, you will not be eligible to receive premium tax credits to help pay for marketplace coverage in 2018.

The marketplace will notify you if you are not eligible for premium tax credits because you received premium tax credits in the past and did not file a tax return and reconcile your premium tax credits with IRS Form 8962 when your coverage is renewed. The IRS may also contact you to pay back some or all of the premium tax credits you received. (26 C.F.R. § 1.36B-2; IRS, Questions and Answers on the Premium Tax Credit).

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