Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, Americans must demonstrate that they have “essential minimum coverage” to avoid incurring a fine from the federal government. Since the individual mandate went into effect, 1040 income tax forms have included a section for taxpayers to indicate their healthcare coverage status.
In the 2017 tax season, after President Donald Trump signed an executive order giving federal agencies the authority to roll back certain aspects of the ACA, the IRS announced that it would still process tax returns even if the taxpayer failed to address their healthcare status on their income tax forms. Now, the IRS has reversed course and announced that it will require taxpayers to address the healthcare coverage requirements of the ACA during the 2018 filing season.
Electronic tax returns will not be accepted until taxpayers indicate whether they “had coverage, had an exemption or will make a shared responsibility payment.” Paper tax returns that fail to address the healthcare requirement may be suspended until taxpayers provide the necessary information. This could result in refund delays as well.
To learn more about what qualifies as minimum essential coverage, check out this page on the IRS website. If you think you might qualify for an exemption, you can find that information here as well. If you decided to file your taxes on your own, you can find the healthcare requirement on line 61 of page 2 of your individual income tax return.
Have some more lingering questions about the upcoming 2018 tax season? Give us a call or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a tax consultant today.