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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Non Tax-Filer Refund?

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Question: I overestimated my income for 2014. I do not pay any taxes, so I cannot get a tax credit. A Covered CA rep said I would get a refund check in the mail for the amount I over-paid on my insurance premiums. Is this correct?

Answer: No. If you do not file a tax return for the 2014 tax year, you are not eligible for a tax credit. If you should decide to file taxes, the tax credits based on your income will be reconciled on your tax return. You will pay less tax, but there will not be a refund check.


Both your statement and the answer to your question are incorrect. Unused premium tax credits ARE fully refundable. The CoveredCA CSR was, in this instance, correct (although you might choose to have your refund paid via direct deposit instead of by mail).

Even if you do not “owe” any income tax for 2014, if you had any amount of earned income and are going to receive a refund of 2014 income taxes paid, your unused premium tax credits will be added to that refund. In your application with CoveredCA, you agreed to file a tax return for 2014, so don’t goof this up! If you were the beneficiary of premium tax credits in 2014, and you fail to file a return, you will OWE 100% of the tax credits back to the IRS. Your 2014 income tax return must be filed no later than April 15, 2015

Additionally, you need to report any change in your anticipated 2015 income through CoveredCA. However, if your anticipated 2015 income falls below the 138% FPL figure of $16,105, you will not be able to renew your private health insurance plan and will be enrolled in Medi-Cal instead.

The premium tax credit is a “refundable credit”. This means that you can receive a refund for over-paid premiums even if you don’t owe tax at filing/reconciling time.

It all depends on the specific circumstances. Basically, Must buy insurance through the exchange And Must file income tax.

See Questions 1, 11 and 15 here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Premium-Tax-Credit

“If you owe no tax, you can get the full amount of the credit as a refund.”

Per this website, yes, he’d get a credit but like you said ONLY IF he files a tax return. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Premium-Tax-Credit

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