IRMAA Surcharge Question

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    A 2018 tax return will be filed Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) with a MAGI of about $87,000.for possible 2020 IRMAA determination. One spouse died earlier in 2018 so for 2019 on the surviving spouse will file Single.

    Q. 1: Will the surviving spouse be subject to an IRMAA surcharge in 2020 because he will file Single in 2019 and 2020 and the 2018 MAGI was over $85,000. or will he be “protected” since the 2018 filing status was MFJ so that the 2020 surcharge would apply only to MAGI’s over $170,000.?

    Q, 2: When is the Initial IRMAA Determination letter of a surcharge sent?

    Thank you.

    Kaye Thomas

    The reference is to the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount, which imposes a higher monthly Medicare cost on individuals with higher incomes. I don’t know the answer to the second question, but the first is not a problem. They’ll look at the income level relative to the filing status in the year the income was earned, so 2018 will be a “good” year in terms of IRMAA. Also, while not needed here, there is an opportunity to use lower income from a more recent year after certain life-changing events, with death of a spouse being one of those events.

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