The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that 4 million Americans paid an average of $708 for not having health insurance in 2016 — what the IRS terms the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (ISRP). The average is just over the base penalty of $695 imposed for a whole year without coverage.
Interestingly, 22.6 million others filed for exemptions and were not docked an ISRP, while those whose returns were “silent” on the issue of health care coverage also went penalty-free due to an executive order from President Trump.
According to the agency:
Silent returns are ones for which the taxpayer did not 1) check the box on the return to indicate the tax family had full-year health care coverage, 2) complete and attach Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, to show tax family members had exemptions from health coverage requirements, or 3) self-assess an ISRP on the return.
Recently, in opinion letters the IRS affirmed that it will continue to enforce the penalty provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2017 filings.
The results are preliminary and could rise as the IRS continues tabulations.