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Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 355
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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Can an employer ask to get a copy of your 2015 tax return as

Customer Question

Can an employer ask to get a copy of your 2015 tax return as part of your enrolling or keep your health insurance
JA: The accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.
Customer: I am under my spouse health insurance and his company wants to know if I have insurance provided by my employer and they are ask everyone to sign a 4506-T form. I feel we do not have to sign this form.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the accountant should know?
Customer: I am working for a temp agency know but 2015 I could get coverage from my employer.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 1 month ago.

Dear Customer,

I am working for a temp agency know but 2015 I could get coverage from my employer.

Do you mean 2017?

I am looking at your question and will respond soon.

Regards,

Fiona

Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I will be with the temp agency until April, when the assignment will go perm or be done with.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My husband employer is asking for 2015 information.
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 1 month ago.

Dear Customer,

This is a new one we are hearing from you.

Construction companies often require their independent contractors to show them tax returns to make sure that they reported income and self-employment taxes. They do so because they are under federal contract requirement to make sure that whomever they hire with the federal money going through has reported income tax and payroll taxes.

Well, yes, you are right. You don't have to fill out the form or to be compliant with the requirement by your husband's employer unless they can show you what governmental rules and regulations they are relying upon to make such requirement. You may even file a complaint against them or raise a lawsuit against them. Below is the website link on reporting employer retaliation against employee issues for health insurance policy issues.

https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/protection-from-retaliation/

However, this is your job or your husband's job, and your family's partial income. Employers are not always right. But if we want to work for them, we have to abide by their requirements and rules.

The reason they want the employee to show tax return probably in this case, is not to make sure you reported income tax. It is to see whether you qualify for anyone else to provide the insurance for you instead of being insured by their employer plan.

We have seen many, many tricks and games or strategies employers have adopted to make this move. There are several strategies and options they have. Some even pay low wage worker's premium for them to go to federal exchange market to get premium credit. Or require them to go on Medicaid. This popular strategy is to push the employee to the federal market exchange if the employee qualify for medicaid, federal premium credit, etc.

In a way, it is very hard for the employer to explain to the employee how and what one can qualify because the calculation is fairly complicated. For example, medicaid standard varies based on number of exemptions (dependents) one has in the household in addition to the wage income. Premium tax credit is even harder to calculate. So, if they can have the returns and calculate that themselves, they can know and advise the employee what to do. For them, the employer may think it is a waste their resource when such employees can go to get public assistance. We are not saying that it is right or not, it is just fact what the employers are doing. -- not the tax return part, the strategy part.

Of course, we have seen employers pushing employees to spouse's policies. Then, in a way, everyone is taking care of and they can save the most. To save the business cost is the bot***** *****ne issue.

In your situation, if you decide to be compliant with the employer's request, you can have your husband telling his HR that your current employer is temporary agency, in 2017, it is likely, your situation will be different from 2015 or 2016. Leave it like that and see what happens.

Please feel free to follow up.

Regards,

Fiona

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