If you don’t do this, the IRS will reject your tax return

The IRS has issued guidance that it is enforcing Obamacare’s individual mandate.

There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding Obamacare. But one thing you can count on: The IRS will reject tax returns without health insurance disclosures.

The New York Times reports:

“In the latest signal that the Affordable Care Act is still law, the Internal Revenue Service said this week that it is taking steps to enforce the most controversial provision: the tax penalty people face if they refuse to obtain health insurance.”

Next year, for the first time, the I.R.S. will reject your tax return when filed electronically if you do not complete the information required about whether you have coverage, including whether you are exempt from the so-called individual mandate or will pay the penalty. If you file your tax return on paper, the agency said it could suspend processing of the return and delay any refund you might be owed.

The I.RS. guidance for tax professionals comes despite an earlier executive order from President Donald Trump that his administration might stop enforcing the individual mandate. But experts say there hasn’t been much doubt about whether the law would be enforced. As the Times reports:

Legal experts say the I.R.S. has been clear that the law was in effect, despite repeated efforts by Mr. Trump and Republican lawmakers to repeal it. Congress would have to specifically repeal the mandate, they say, even if the administration has significant leeway over how aggressively it enforces it.

“This guidance should put to rest speculation that the I.R.S. is no longer enforcing the individual mandate and improve compliance,” wrote Timothy Jost, an emeritus law professor at Washington and Lee University in a recent analysis.

There are possible exemptions from the mandate, CNBC reports. They include lack of access to affordable coverage, homelessness, getting evicted, experiencing domestic violence, the death of a family member and filing for bankruptcy.

Otherwise, CNBC reports:

The ACA requires most people to have some form of health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty — a requirement known as Obamacare’s individual mandate.

That penalty is the higher of 2.5 percent of adjusted gross household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under age 18.

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