Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IRS will defer guidance on ACA individual mandate until after Supreme Court’s decision, Chief Counsel says

Guidance on the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will wait until after the Supreme Court hands down a decision, IRS Chief Counsel William J. Wilkins said on March 2 in Washington, D.C., at the Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation’s 36th Annual Tax Law Conference.

The ACA generally requires individuals to make a shared responsibility payment if they do not have minimum essential health care coverage for themselves and their dependents. The shared responsibility payment is scheduled to apply beginning in 2014.

Since enactment of the ACA, several states have challenged the law’s requirement that individuals carry minimum essential coverage. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenges in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for March 26-28. The Court is expected to announce its decision in June.

Wilkins said that the IRS will hold off issuing issue guidance on the individual shared responsibility payment pending the Supreme Court’s decision. However, the Service is moving forward with ACA guidance for employers and also on the ACA health insurance premium assistance tax credit, Wilkins said.


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