Mandating health insurance
Mandating health insurance - confessions of an online dating addict
How much difference does a single line on a tax form make?
"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." The tax agency says the change will reduce the health law's strain on taxpayers.
Drake Software, which provides services to tax professionals, recently sent out a notice explaining the change in policy.
As of February 3, the notice said, the IRS "will now accept an e-filed return that does not indicate either full-year coverage or an individual shared responsibility payment or does not include an exemption on Form 8965, as required by IRS instructions, Form 1040, line 61." The mandate is a key component of Obamacare's coverage scheme, which is built on what experts sometimes describe as a "three-legged stool." The law requires health insurers to sell to all comers regardless of health history, and offers subsidies to lower income individuals in order to offset the cost of coverage.
"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." The IRS notes that taxpayers are still required to pay the mandate penalty, if applicable.
The move has already raised questions about its legality.
Federal law gives the administration broad authority to provide exemptions from the mandate.The IRS says it still maintains the option to follow up with those who elect not to indicate their coverage status, although it's not clear what circumstances might trigger a follow up.But what would have been a mandatory disclosure will instead be voluntary.Instead, however, filling out that line will be optional.Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of 1040s with nothing on line 61.The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included.