IRS Accepts Individual Returns Without Indication of 2016 Health Coverage

​The Affordable Care Act (ACA) instructs individual taxpayers to indicate on their Form 1040 filing whether they had health insurance, an exemption from coverage or made a shared responsibility payment. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is currently reviewing President Trump's January 20, 2017, executive order to determine its implications. The IRS advises taxpayers to continue filing their tax returns as they normally would. The ACA is the law, and taxpayers remain required to follow the law and pay what they may owe‎.

The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden.‎ Consistent with that, the IRS has decided to continue to allow electronic and paper returns to be accepted for processing in instances where a taxpayer doesn’t indicate their health coverage status.

However, legislative provisions of the ACA law are still in force until changed by the Congress, and taxpayers remain required to follow the law and pay what they may owe‎.

Processing silent returns means that taxpayer returns are not systemically rejected by the IRS at the time of filing, allowing the returns to be processed and minimizing burden on taxpayers, including those expecting a refund. When the IRS has questions about a tax return, taxpayers may receive follow-up questions and correspondence at a future date, after the filing process is completed‎. This is similar to how we handled this in previous years, and this reflects the normal IRS post-filing compliance procedures that we follow.