QUESTION

I’m in a common law marriage – what should I indicate as my marital status on my application for premium tax credits?

Individuals with no coverage | Eligibility for Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Reductions
ANSWER

It depends. A common law marriage – a marriage established when a couple presents themselves to the world as married but does not have a marriage license – is recognized in only a minority of states. If you live in a state that recognizes common law marriage, then you are considered married and should indicate that on your Marketplace application. You are still considered married even if you moved to a state that doesn’t recognize common law marriage after living in a state that did recognize your marriage. If your state does not recognize common law marriage, then you cannot indicate you are married on your Marketplace application. (IRS, Filing Status; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The Health Care Assister's Guide to Tax Rules, updated Feb. 2016).

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