? I am providing 100% support for my mother-in-law (she has $0 income) so she is a qualifying relative and I *can* claim her as a dependent. Question #1 is: am I required to claim her as a dependent? We'd like her to file her own taxes since she is in the process of applying for Obamacare (she just had a qualifying life change event).=========>>>No;however, once you actually claim her as your dependent, then,her 1095-A goes on your tax return, and the Premium Tax Credit or the repayment of any Advance credit is based on your Household Income. Since you will have to report her 1095-A in your tax return and may need to repay some or all of any Advance credit the dependent received, depending on your AGI., on he contrary, say, you can claim her as your dependent, but choose not to, she still does not qualify for the Premium Tax Credit on her own return. However, because of her zero income, her repayment of the Advance credit may be much less than your repayment of the Advance credit if you had actually claimed her. So,You would need to determine if the amount of savings by claiming her outweigh the benefits of claiming her on your tax return.
Question #2: what would happen if she gets a break on healthcare premiums or Medicaid or whatever and then next year we change our mind and claim her as a dependent? I'm in Michigan.==========>> Anyone you claim as a dependent is factored into the Shared Responsibility Payment. having zero income, she should have qualified for Medicare /statelevel Medicaid, those would have counted as Minimum Essential Coverage and allowed you to avoid the fee.