The Internal Revenue Service will no longer require tax returns to include the filer’s health insurance information.
Prior to President Donald Trump signing an executive order which asks the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, tax filers had to indicate whether or not they were covered by health insurance for the filing year.
If a tax filer left that information blank he would be labeled as “silent returns” and could ultimately be rejected. Obamacare mandates that everyone either has to have qualifying health insurance or must pay a penalty. The IRS was required to ask individuals on their 1040s whether or not they were covered or were paying the penalty.
Now, it is optional to fill out that information on a tax return. However, the IRS says they still have the capability of following up with those who do not provide their health insurance information.
“The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden,” the IRS said in a statement to Reason. “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.”
The statement continued: “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.”
Trump’s executive order is one sign of many that indicates enforcement will not be as strict as in the past.
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