IRS Statement on ACA Enforcement



ACA Enforcement Has Begun: Are You Ready?

Even as the political rhetoric continues in relation to the Affordable Care Act, the IRS is stepping up enforcement of both the individual mandate, which requires individuals to obtain health insurance, and the employer mandate requiring many employers to offer insurance coverage to their employees and then report on that offer annually to the IRS.

In a recent statement from the IRS, it’s been made clear that individual taxpayers will no longer be able to omit coverage information from their personal tax returns, opening themselves up to a “shared responsibility” payment (AKA penalty).  In addition, in May 2017 the IRS completed development of a new technology system that aggregates information from health insurance providers, individual taxpayers, employers, and the insurance exchanges and can identify individuals and employers who are subject to “shared responsibility” payments. Add to this the many “non-filing” letters the IRS has sent to employers with at least 50 W-2s, and it appears that the IRS will soon assess penalties to noncompliant employers.

Here’s the full statement released by the IRS last week: 

IRS Statement on Health Care Reporting Requirement

For the upcoming 2018 filing season, the IRS‎ will not accept electronically filed tax returns where the taxpayer does not address the health coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act.‎ The IRS will not accept the electronic tax return until the taxpayer indicates whether they had coverage, had an exemption or will make a shared responsibility payment. In addition, returns filed on paper that do not address the health coverage requirements may be suspended pending the receipt of additional information and any refunds may be delayed.

‎To avoid refund and processing delays when filing 2017 tax returns in 2018, taxpayers should indicate whether they and everyone on their return had coverage, qualified for an exemption from the coverage requirement or are making an individual shared responsibility payment. This process reflects the requirements of the ACA and the IRS’s obligation to administer the health care law.

‎Taxpayers remain obligated to follow the law and pay what they may owe at the point of filing‎. The 2018 filing season will be the first time the IRS will not accept tax returns that omit this information. After a review of our process and discussions with the National Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS has determined identifying omissions and requiring taxpayers to provide health coverage information at the point of filing makes it easier for the taxpayer to successfully file a tax return and minimizes related refund delays.

Click here for more information about the individual shared responsibility provision.

Have questions or concerns?  Contact your PKS & Company, P.A. tax advisor.

Get Updates From PKS & Company, P.A.

Enter your email address to get our monthly newsletter and important updates regarding financial advice, tax code changes and more. 



Dominic M. Lagonigro, CPA


It’s Not Too Late to Claim This Valuable Tax Credit

The CARES Act that was signed into law in early 2020 included a special tax credit designed to encourage businesses to retain employees during the c
Read Full Article

John M. Stern, CPA/PFS


Lowdown on Federal Tax Proposals for Businesses and Individuals

The U.S. Department of Treasury released its "Green Book" in May entitled, "General Explanation of the Biden administration's Fiscal Year 2022 Reven
Read Full Article

Daniel M. O'Connell - CPA/PFS, CVA


Would a Roth IRA Conversion Make Sense for You?

Roth IRA and 401(k) accounts were created in 1998. Contributions to Roth accounts are taxed on the front end at ordinary tax rates when made. But wi
Read Full Article