IRS to Reject Tax Returns That Lack Key Health Insurance Details

Photo by Tranakritta saetang / Shutterstock.com

President Donald Trump has been moving to weaken Obamacare lately, including ending subsidies to health insurers that help cover discounts they provide to lower-income people. But the Internal Revenue Service is moving in the opposite direction.

The IRS has informed tax professionals that for the upcoming tax season, the agency will be doing more to uphold the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law commonly known as Obamacare.

The 2018 tax season will mark the first time the IRS will not accept tax returns that do not specify whether taxpayers have met the health insurance coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. The federal agency continues:

“This process reflects the requirements of the ACA and the IRS’s obligation to administer the health care law. Taxpayers remain obligated to follow the law and pay what they may owe at the point of filing.”

So, on your 2017 tax return, you must indicate which of the following statuses applied to you this year:

  • You and everyone on your tax return had health insurance coverage.
  • You and everyone on your tax return qualified for an exemption from the coverage requirement.
  • You are paying a fee technically known as an “individual shared responsibility payment.”

Electronically filed tax returns will not be accepted by the IRS until the returns indicate one of those situations. Returns filed on paper may be suspended until the ACA information is received.

In other words, your tax refund might be delayed if your return lacks the ACA details the IRS is now requiring.

The individual shared responsibility payment

The individual shared responsibility payment stems from a part of the Affordable Care Act known as the individual shared responsibility provision. As the IRS describes it, this provision requires taxpayers to do at least one of the following:

  • Have qualifying health coverage called minimum essential coverage.
  • Qualify for a health coverage exemption.
  • Make a shared responsibility payment with their federal income tax return for the months that (they were) without coverage or an exemption.

Healthcare.gov, the federal government’s official ACA website, does not yet state the amount of this payment, commonly referred to as the “individual mandate” penalty, for 2018. For the past two years, though, it was as high as $2,085 per household or 2.5 percent of a household’s income — whichever was greater.

To find out if you qualify for an exemption from the penalty, use Healthcare.gov’s “Find health coverage exemptions” tool or the IRS version of the tool.

How do you feel about this news? Sound off by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
8 Things I Always Buy at Target
8 Things I Always Buy at Target

I grew up shopping at the original Target store and am a lifelong fan. Here are my favorite purchases.

7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You
7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You

How many of these costly online shopping missteps are you making without realizing it?

Brace to Pay More for These 26 Prescriptions in 2020
Brace to Pay More for These 26 Prescriptions in 2020

More than 600 drugs — including these commonly prescribed meds — have seen price hikes so far this year.

3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone
3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone

Counting on Medicare to cover health care costs can jeopardize your retirement plans.

The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed
The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed

The nursing homes with a history of providing subpar care previously hadn’t been identified for a government list.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

8 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
8 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?
Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?

The status of another round of direct payments to taxpayers is a mix of good and bad news.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.