Feb. 15, the IRS announced on its ACA Information Center for Tax Professionals webpage that it would not reject taxpayers' 2016 income tax returns that are missing health coverage information.
This information is supposed to be included on line 61 of the Form 1040 and line 11 of the Form 1040EZ to demonstrate compliance during the year with the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) mandate that individuals have health insurance that meets ACA standards, or else pay a penalty.
Two crucial points regarding the IRS announcement should be underscored, said Jeff Cronin, vice president at Sovos, a Minneapolis-based compliance software company:
- The announcement only applies to personal income tax filers—it does not affect employers’ disclosure and reporting obligations.
- It is not a repeal of the individual mandate; penalty provisions are still in place and are currently being enforced.