Yes, you read that right. The penalty for not carrying health insurance is gone. Back when Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the legislation “encouraged” taxpayers to carry health insurance. If they had health insurance from an employer, great. If they had the means to buy their own health insurance, also great. If they did not have enough $$ for health insurance, mortgage/rent, food, utilities, car and other expenses, they had to make tough decisions. The State of California may penalize you for not having health insurance.
Some folks chose to go without health insurance. They had a few different reasons. Does one of these characterize you?
“I put my health in the hands of the Lord,” declares Tom. He plays football, lifts weights and eats healthy. “I don’t do drugs,” he says with a gleam. “I am healthier than 90% of Americans. Check me out. I have 7% body fat. I don’t need health insurance.” Regardless of his 7% body fat, Tom still paid a penalty for not carrying health insurance.
Starting in tax year 2019, Tommy will not have to pay a fine for going without health insurance. Same with other folks who felt health insurance was cost-prohibitive or they would gamble on remaining healthy, barring an emergency room visit. They are no longer to paying fines.
This is one big change in tax year 2019 that works for your benefit if you do not have health insurance. Other changes can work to your benefit. For help with your tax returns or finances in general, contact Dave Fechter, CPA at (916) 984-2081.