The IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service has developed several online tools to help taxpayers and employers estimate their tax credits and payments related to the Affordable Care Act.

The tools provide only an estimate, the Taxpayer Advocate Service cautioned, so taxpayers should not rely upon them as an accurate calculation of the information reported on their tax returns. The estimators should only be used as a guide to help make decisions regarding one’s tax situation.

The Premium Tax Credit Change Estimator can help individuals estimate how their premium tax credit will change if their income or family size changes during the year. This estimator tool does not report changes in circumstances to the health insurance marketplace used by the taxpayer. To report changes and to adjust the amount of the taxpayer’s advance payments of the premium tax credit, they should contact their health insurance marketplace. The changes could affect both the taxpayer’s insurance coverage and final tax credit when their federal tax return is filed.

The Individual Shared Responsibility Payment Estimator can help taxpayers estimate the amount they may have to pay if they did not have minimum essential coverage during the year. The tool can only provide an estimate of the taxpayer’s individual shared responsibility payment. To determine the payment when filing the actual tax return, the Shared Responsibility Payment Worksheet in the instructions for Form 8965 should be used.

The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Estimator can help determine if a taxpayers might be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and how much of the credit they might receive. The tool provides an estimate for tax year 2014 and beyond. However, some figures used in determining the credit are indexed for inflation. Because of this, for future years, the estimator cannot provide a detailed estimate, the Taxpayer Advocate Service cautioned.

TAS is an independent organization within the IRS whose job is to ensure every taxpayer is treated fairly and that taxpayers know and understand their rights. TAS noted that the calculations provided by the TAS Estimator Tools are only estimates and may not match the actual credits or payments taxpayers will report on their actual tax returns. The IRS also cannot validate the accuracy of the estimator calculations for specific circumstances.

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