Form 1040, Line 61 And Non-Resident Taxpayers

Like resident taxpayers, U.S. taxpayers living abroad must complete Line 61 under “Other Taxes” and “Health care: individual responsibility” on their Form 1040 or equivalent. For 2016, the IRS will not consider a return complete and accurate if the taxpayer does not report health care coverage for the year, an exemption or a payment. However, U.S. citizens filing as non-residents in foreign countries while covered by an employee health plan, or even by a foreign country’s national health care system, have different considerations when complying with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“ACA”).

How Much Is My 2016 Shared Responsibility Payment?

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 introduced the shared responsibility payment on non-exempt American citizens who do not meet certain healthcare insurance minimum coverage requirements. The IRS will not consider a return complete and accurate if the taxpayer does not report health care coverage for the year, an exemption or a payment.

Taxpayers must either:

  • Have qualifying health care coverage for every month of 2016 (including for dependents);
  • Qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have health care coverage; or
  • Make a “shared responsibility payment.”

This shared responsibility payment increases annually, and for the 2016 tax year, is the greater of:

Can You Claim Your Child As A Dependent On Your Tax Return?

If you support children, relatives, or even non-relatives, you may be able to claim them as dependents on your tax return. Specifically, if someone qualifies as a dependent, you may claim them on your tax return unless you or your spouse qualifies as a dependent for another individual. It is important to remember that if someone else may claim you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) as a dependent, whether or not they actually claim you, then you may not claim any dependents nor take any tax exemptions, even for yourself.

The Importance Of Form 8332

Divorced taxpayers with children that fail to include an executed Form 8332 with their tax return will lose the exemption for that particular tax year. Form 8332 (Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent) allows parents to do the following.

  • Release a claim to exemption for a child so that the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption for the child.
  • Revoke a previous release of claim to exemption for a child.

Who Claims The Kids On Their Taxes, And Other Ways Divorce May Affect Your Taxes

Divorcing couples often wonder who claims the children on their taxes, and in what other ways divorce will affect their taxes. Questions may include which filing status to use after the divorce, and how payments for spousal maintenance and child support to an ex-spouse are treated for tax purposes. Also, inquiries about what happens to assets like the family residence are obviously frequently common.

Filing Status

To Be or Not To Be? Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately?

Married couples have the option to file jointly or separately on their federal income tax returns. Undoubtedly, married couples during tax season have asked each other if they are filing advantageously, whether currently filing jointly or separately. The IRS strongly encourages most couples to file joint tax returns by extending several tax breaks to those who file together. In the vast majority of cases, it’s best for married couples to file jointly, but there may be a few instances when it’s better to submit separate returns.

2016 Affordable Care Act Changes For Individual Taxpayers

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) imposes the requirement that all Americans acquire health insurance that qualifies as “minimum essential coverage” under the Act. Otherwise, taxpayers may have to make a shared responsibility payment to the IRS when they file their tax return in April. The ACA also allows for a tax credit known as the premium tax credit for taxpayers that purchase health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Known as the individual shared responsibility provision, it requires a taxpayer, his or her spouse, and their dependents to have health insurance minimum essential coverage for the entire reporting year. Most taxpayers already have qualifying health care coverage, and will simply report this fact on their return by checking a box.