New data reveals $200 million more in penalties than previous estimates
Nearly 8.1 million taxpayers paid $1,694,088,000 in Obamacare penalties for not having health insurance in 2014, the first year the penalty was in effect, according to the most recent data from the Internal Revenue Service.
“Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that individuals must have had health care coverage, qualified for a health coverage exemption, or made a shared responsibility payment with a tax return,” the IRS said. “A health care individual responsibility payment was made on 8.1 million returns for $1.7 billion, an average of $210 per tax return paying this penalty.”
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told lawmakers in 2015 that preliminary data from the IRS found that approximately 7.5 million taxpayers paid a total of $1.5 billion in penalties. This means about 560,000 more taxpayers paid about $200 million more in penalties than was previously reported.
In 2014, individuals were required to pay either a flat penalty of $95 for each uninsured adult or one percent of their household’s adjusted gross income in excess of the threshold for mandatory tax filing, whichever is greater. In 2016, those penalties rose to a flat fee of $695 or 2.5 percent of the AGI measure.