Effective in 2016, health insurance companies will be required to provide to every individual who received minimum essential health care coverage in the 2015 calendar year with Form 1095-B, Health Coverage. Since a copy of this form must also be sent to the IRS, The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires the insured to provide the health care provider with his/her social security number (SSN), as well as the SSNs of the spouse and any dependents. If any person fails to provide the health care provider with the requested SSNs, it is very likely that the IRS will be unable to match the Form 1095-B with the individuals to determine that they have complied with the individual shared responsibility provision of the ACA. The Form 1095-B will be requested by your tax professional when your tax return is prepared.
There has been much publicity about the IRS’s problems with identity theft. What many people do not realize is that health care providers are one of the favorite targets of identity theft hackers. While health care providers have been asking for SSNs for years, they will now be required to share some portion of their database files with the IRS. What a potential target for hackers!
Making life more interesting, the IRS has not designated a specific form for your health care provider to request this information. Thus when such requests are made, you will need to verify that the request is coming from your health care provider and not from a scam artist. If you refuse to provide your health care provider with the requested SSNs, you may receive a notice from the IRS stating that you are liable for a shared responsibility payment.
If you want to discuss your tax preparation or tax planning concerns with an experienced tax professional, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.