Two-thirds of ObamaCare subsidy recipients had to pay money back to the IRS

ObamaCare
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While tax prep giant H&R Block initially estimated that half of ObamaCare (ACA) subsidy recipients would have to pay money back to the IRS, the final tally is even worse:

Almost two-thirds of tax filers who received insurance via the state or federal insurance marketplaces had to pay back an average of $729 of the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC), cutting their potential refund by almost one-third, according to analysis of filing data by H&R Block. [H&R Block]

For the rest of H&R Block customers, tax season was a little less traumatic: About one quarter of insurance subsidy recipients saw an increase in their tax refunds, while 13 percent saw no change.

The confusion has occurred because — on top of the complexity the ACA adds to the tax code — estimating income in advance to calculate how big an insurance subsidy should be is difficult for non-salaried workers. As Timothy Jost, a Washington and Lee University law professor, explains, "If you’re a person who is a waitress or worked for a landscape company and you're asked how much money you're going to make, you're really just throwing a dart at the board."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us