Since the passing of the affordable care act if one does not have insurance then a ‘tax penalty’ otherwise known as the “shared responsibility payment” is levied. Since the passing of the bill the 1040 form to file your taxes includes line 61 which asks if you have healthcare. Until recently filling out line 61 was mandatory.
Since President Trump signed his executive order instructing agencies to provide relief from the law. The IRS has softened their approach to the enforcement of “line 61”.
“Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of the 1040s with nothing on line 61.
In a statement to Reason the IRS reported:
“The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden,” the IRS said in a statement to Reason. “Consistent with that, the IRS has decided to make changes that would continue to allow electronic and paper returns to be accepted for processing in instances where a taxpayer doesn’t indicate their coverage status.”Processing silent returns means that taxpayer returns are not systemically rejected, allowing them to be processed and minimizing burden on taxpayers, including those expecting a refund,”
The individual mandate is still the law so if you disclose that you do not have insurance you will still be required to pay the penalty.
“It’s hard to enforce something without information,” says Ryan Ellis, a Senior Fellow at the Conservative Reform Network. “The mandate can only be weakened by Congress,” says Ellis. “This is a change to how the IRS is choosing to enforce it. They will count on voluntary disclosure of non-coverage rather than asking themselves.” Ellis says the new policy doesn’t fully rise to the level of declining to enforce the law. “If the IRS turns a blind eye to people’s status, that isn’t quite not enforcing it,” he says. “It’s more like the IRS wanting to maintain plausible deniability.”
Well, this may be seen as good news for those that still cannot afford health insurance. Hopefully, the Republicans will get it together and repeal this awful bill that has put more of a financial hardship on Americans. If you would like to read the full article from Reason it is sourced below.