The IRS will not require taxpayers to indicate whether they have health insurance when filing their tax returns, a return to the policy the agency had in place in prior years.
The agency reversed a previous decision to require an indication of coverage on tax returns filed this year after President Donald Trump signed an executive order January 20 requiring federal agencies to reduce the burden of the ACA. After accepting returns that did not indicate coverage in 2014 and 2015, the IRS said it had set up a system for this year that would reject tax returns during processing if an individual did not provide health coverage information. The agency decided to continue accepting electronic and paper returns for processing, even if they lack the coverage information, following the executive order, according to an IRS statement released on February 15.
The IRS cautioned that, while the step may be seem to be a weakening of the ACA's mandate, the IRS makes clear that the law is still in force and "taxpayers remain required to follow the law and pay what they may owe." IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has previously said despite the flurry of activity on the Hill regarding the ACA, taxpayers should follow current law until there is a new one.