IRS says it's OK if you fail to say you have insurance on return

The IRS may be the ogre of government, but when it comes to enforcing its rules on Obamacare, it's positively puppyish.  Millions of people who don't have insurance are having the penalty waived.  They are going to trust that your coverage meets Obamacare mandates without checking. 

Now, if you fail to mark your return indicating that you have insurance, why, that's perfectly all right with the IRS.

Washington Examiner:

The Internal Revenue Service told the Washington Examiner it will not penalize anyone who has insurance but neglected to check the box.

However, a taxpayer may be asked by the agency if they have health insurance if their return is flagged during a routine check.

"The IRS routinely follows-up on the accuracy and completeness of tax returns, and in this situation, taxpayers should be prepared to respond to correspondence," said Ubon Mendie, a spokesman for the IRS.

He added that taxpayers who already filed their returns don't need to amend the returns solely to indicate they neglected to check the box.

The clarification is an example of how much of the country will be affected by Obamacare this tax season.

Obamacare customers will have to fill out new forms detailing the plans they selected and how much they will receive in tax credits.

The Obama administration is also making a fervent, last-minute push to warn taxpayers about the pending Obamacare penalty.

The Treasury Department released a slew of educational materials on Friday detailing the various exemptions an uninsured taxpayer can use to avoid the law's individual mandate penalty for not having insurance. The action comes as a host of surveys and other data show that some uninsured people still don't know about the penalty, let alone the more than 20 exemptions.

The penalty went into effect last year, but taxpayers will pay for it in their 2014 tax returns due on April 15. The administration has previously estimated that up to 4 percent of taxpayers will have to pay a penalty.

The Treasury is also working with tax preparers such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt to address the penalty, spokesperson Erin Dolan told the Washington Examiner.

The Treasury Department has issued a list of 20 separate exemptions taxpayers can use to avoid the individual mandate penalty.  The administration has extended the enrollment period and are trying to get the word out to the 41% of uninsured Americans who still don't know they have to pay a penalty.

All of these changes are the result of a desire on the part of the administration to avoid political blowback as a result of confusion and ignorance over the law.  Some taxpayers are still going to get a nasty surprise when the IRS takes the penalty out of their tax refund, but with all the exemptions, that number is going to be considerably less than it should be.

But it will probably do them no good in the end.  Eventually, they are going to have to enforce the mandate and force people to either buy insurance or pay the ever growing penalty, set to rise to 2% of income next year.  They keep trying to move the goalposts on Obamacare, but the field is getting shorter, and they're running out of time.

The IRS may be the ogre of government, but when it comes to enforcing its rules on Obamacare, it's positively puppyish.  Millions of people who don't have insurance are having the penalty waived.  They are going to trust that your coverage meets Obamacare mandates without checking. 

Now, if you fail to mark your return indicating that you have insurance, why, that's perfectly all right with the IRS.

Washington Examiner:

The Internal Revenue Service told the Washington Examiner it will not penalize anyone who has insurance but neglected to check the box.

However, a taxpayer may be asked by the agency if they have health insurance if their return is flagged during a routine check.

"The IRS routinely follows-up on the accuracy and completeness of tax returns, and in this situation, taxpayers should be prepared to respond to correspondence," said Ubon Mendie, a spokesman for the IRS.

He added that taxpayers who already filed their returns don't need to amend the returns solely to indicate they neglected to check the box.

The clarification is an example of how much of the country will be affected by Obamacare this tax season.

Obamacare customers will have to fill out new forms detailing the plans they selected and how much they will receive in tax credits.

The Obama administration is also making a fervent, last-minute push to warn taxpayers about the pending Obamacare penalty.

The Treasury Department released a slew of educational materials on Friday detailing the various exemptions an uninsured taxpayer can use to avoid the law's individual mandate penalty for not having insurance. The action comes as a host of surveys and other data show that some uninsured people still don't know about the penalty, let alone the more than 20 exemptions.

The penalty went into effect last year, but taxpayers will pay for it in their 2014 tax returns due on April 15. The administration has previously estimated that up to 4 percent of taxpayers will have to pay a penalty.

The Treasury is also working with tax preparers such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt to address the penalty, spokesperson Erin Dolan told the Washington Examiner.

The Treasury Department has issued a list of 20 separate exemptions taxpayers can use to avoid the individual mandate penalty.  The administration has extended the enrollment period and are trying to get the word out to the 41% of uninsured Americans who still don't know they have to pay a penalty.

All of these changes are the result of a desire on the part of the administration to avoid political blowback as a result of confusion and ignorance over the law.  Some taxpayers are still going to get a nasty surprise when the IRS takes the penalty out of their tax refund, but with all the exemptions, that number is going to be considerably less than it should be.

But it will probably do them no good in the end.  Eventually, they are going to have to enforce the mandate and force people to either buy insurance or pay the ever growing penalty, set to rise to 2% of income next year.  They keep trying to move the goalposts on Obamacare, but the field is getting shorter, and they're running out of time.