The individual shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act requires you and each member of your family to have qualifying health care coverage (called minimum essential coverage), qualify for a coverage exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your federal income tax return.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers must continue to report coverage, qualify for an exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment for tax years 2017 and 2018.
Determining if You Need to Make a Payment
You are required to make a payment for the months that you and any family members do not have minimum essential coverage or a coverage exemption when you file your tax return. To find out if you qualify for an exemption or must make a payment use our interactive tool, Am I eligible for a coverage exemption or required to make an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment? Also, see the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment Estimator.
Calculating the Payment
If you have to make a payment, you can use the worksheets located in the instructions (PDF) to Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions (PDF), to figure the shared responsibility payment amount due. Filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. The software guides you through the process. Tax preparation software can also help you calculate your payment when filing electronically. When you are figuring out your shared responsibility payment, make sure you use the correct percentage amount to calculate the payment. IRS assistors cannot calculate the shared responsibility payment for you.
The annual payment amount is either a percentage of your household income in excess of the return filing threshold or a flat dollar amount, whichever is greater. If you have coverage or an exemption for only part of the year, you will prorate your payment for an amount less than the annual payment. The amount you will have to pay may be limited depending on your circumstances.
2014-2018 Annual Payment Amounts
|Year 2014||Year 2015||Years 2016-2018|
1% of income above filing threshold
2% of income above filing threshold
2.5% of income above filing threshold
|Flat dollar amount||
$95 per adult
$47.50 per child
Family maximum: $285
$325 per adult
$162.50 per child
Family maximum: $975
$695 per adult
$347.50 per child
Family maximum: $2,085
If you are not required to file a federal income tax return for a year because your gross income is below your return filing threshold, you are automatically exempt from the shared responsibility provision for that year and do not need to take any further action to secure an exemption. You do not need to file a return solely to report your coverage or to claim a coverage exemption. If your income is below the filing threshold for your filing status and you choose to file a tax return, you will check that box if you, your spouse (if filing jointly), and anyone you can or do claim as a dependent had qualifying health care coverage or a coverage exemption that covered all of 2018 or a combination of qualifying health care coverage and coverage exemptions for every month of 2018. If you can check the box on Form 1040, you don’t need to file Form 8965. You should not make a shared responsibility payment if you are exempt from the coverage requirement because you have income below the filing threshold.
Making the Payment with Your Return
If you can’t check the box, you generally must report a shared responsibility payment on Schedule 4 (PDF), line 61, for each month that you, your spouse (if filing jointly), or someone else you can or do claim as a dependent didn’t have qualifying health care coverage or a coverage exemption. You only make a payment for the months you or your dependents did not have coverage or qualify for a coverage exemption.
If you also need to report an exemption for any month during the year, see our Claiming and Reporting an Exemption page for more information about how to report or claim an exemption on your tax return.
If you did not have coverage and your income was below the tax filing threshold for your filing status, you qualify for a coverage exemption and you should not make a payment.
See the instructions to Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, for more information including examples. To help estimate the amount of your payment, check out the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment Estimator.