Sigma Tax Pro Warns That Tax Returns Will Not Be Processed Without Health Coverage

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This will be the first tax season where a tax return will not be processed without addressing the Affordable Care Act requirements.

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Last year, taxpayers were penalized for not having the required health care coverage. They were penalized by experiencing longer than normal delays in processing their refunds, as well as being forced to pay an individual shared responsibility payment if they did not qualify for an exemption. However, this year any return that does not address the ACA requirements will not be processed. Taxpayers can still indicate whether they qualify for an exemption, or have decided to make the individual shared responsibility payment, but they cannot simply skip the question.

While President Trump and fellow Republicans have attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it will still be in place for the 2018 filing season. The IRS have reviewed the law and their stance is that “this process reflects the requirements of the ACA and the IRS’s obligation to administer health care law.” Last year, they would accept returns in which the taxpayer was silent on the issue, and would follow up after filing if needed. Ian Gardner, of Sigma Tax Pro reminds tax pros that “Handling the issue at the time of filing can save you and the taxpayer a significant amount of time and money that would have otherwise been spent attempting to resolve the issue.”

The IRS is still behind on handling this issue from prior years, and in fact didn’t start sending out letters for the 2014 and 2015 season until this past September, in which they requested info from around 130,000 taxpayers. This shows the system as it existed was clearly flawed, so they have taken steps to proactively improve the process. With the delays experienced last year due to the PATH Act, tax professionals need to ensure they’re doing everything they can to get their clients refunds processed as quickly as possible.

Sigma Tax Pro provides a full range of essential services for tax pros. This includes industry leading software solutions as well as technical support, tax preparation support and client retention strategies. Sigma Tax Pro specializes in helping tax preparation firms expand their businesses, open new offices and increase their client base.

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Ian Gardner
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