The IRS will reject tax returns filed without information about health insurance. Photo: Brennan Linsley / AP

The IRS said it will decline any tax returns submitted online if the filer does not fill out the forms about whether you have health insurance, per NYT. You could be denied your refund without this information.

Why it matters: The tax penalty for lack of health insurance has been controversial and this is the first time the IRS will enforce this rule. Also, it's a small sign that Trump's administration is keeping some parts of the Affordable Care Act alive, despite Trump's repeated claims that it's dead.

Think back: Trump's very first Executive Order suggested his admin could halt the tax penalty for insurance. And he has flip-flopped on health care numerous times this month alone. He rolled out another Executive Order earlier this month advocating for the sale of skinnier health plans to small businesses and individuals — on the same day that he announced he'd end subsidies for low-income people. And he changed his mind on the bipartisan proposal to provide "short-term stability to insurance marketplaces under the law," NYT notes.

Why now: The IRS wanted to assess the effects of Trump's EOs before rejecting returns without insurance information. Families can face up to $2,085 penalty and individuals could pay as much as $695 each year for the tax penalty without providing insurance information.

More tax news, from NYT: tax news, from NYT: Republicans are considering decreasing the amount individuals can contribute to 401(k) before taxes to help their tax reform plan.

Go deeper

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.