The IRS just took a step of their own volition that I never saw coming and it is good news. The Obamacare mandate required that Americans either be covered by health insurance or they had to pay a tax penalty.
Well, the IRS quietly altered their rules this month for the submission of tax forms, making reporting of health insurance coverage “optional.”
They still say they may follow up if you don’t check that little box, but they don’t say what would trigger that. I sincerely doubt they will ever bother tracking down people over it. Which means the Obamacare mandate is pretty much dead at least at the IRS. Glory freaking hallelujah!
The IRS will no longer reject your tax forms if you don’t fill out that portion that indicates whether or not you have health insurance. That was the fascist move that made Obamacare supposedly a “tax.” Now the mandatory disclosure is voluntary and that will be a relief to millions of Americans. Returns that no longer state whether you have coverage or not, will not be automatically rejected by the IRS now.
Following President Donald Trump’s executive order instructing agencies to provide relief from the health law, the Internal Revenue Service appears to be taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement.
The health law’s individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a “shared responsibility payment.” The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. Alternatively, they could claim exemption from the mandate by filing a form 8965.
For most filers, filling out line 61 would be mandatory. The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included. Otherwise they would be labeled “silent returns” and rejected.
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 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.
You can thank President Trump for this fantastic development. “The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burdens,” the IRS said in a statement. “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.” My, how things are changing for the better suddenly. It turns out that the IRS fears Trump almost as much as we fear them.
The IRS claims this will reduce ‘strain’ on taxpayers: “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 IRS statement said. Some think this a minor change… I think it is huge. Now, if we can just get Obamacare repealed in full and for the love of all that is holy… please let the free market take it from there.
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