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February 23, 2015 | Weekly Commentary

About 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers got the wrong tax information from the government, the Obama administration said Friday, and officials are asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns.

The tax mistake is a self-inflicted injury that comes on the heels of what President Barack Obama had touted as a successful enrollment season, with about 11.4 million people signed up. The errors mean that nearly 1 million people may have to wait longer to get their income tax refunds this year. And they could also affect the size of those refunds.

The tax error highlights the complicated links between Obama’s health care law and taxes, connections that consumers will experience for the first time this year. The law subsidizes private health insurance for people who don’t have access to job-based coverage. By delivering those subsidies through the income tax system, the White House and the law’s supporters were able to tout the health care overhaul as a tax cut. But it also introduced new wrinkles to an already-complicated tax system.

The errors disclosed Friday are in new forms that HealthCare.gov sent to millions of consumers receiving coverage through the federal insurance market that serves most states. Those forms, called 1095-As, are like a W-2 for health care. They provided a month-by-month accounting of the subsidies consumers received to help pay their premiums. That information is then used to make sure everybody got the right amount, not too much, or too little.

The administration started notifying the affected consumers Friday.

Valley National recommends taxpayers who purchased insurance through HealthCare.gov follow one of the two courses of action:

a. Wait to file their Federal 1040 until 3/15/2015.

b. Access the marketplace website now at the following address to determine if they are affected by this error:

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