Oct 21, 2017

IRS will decline tax returns without proof of health insurance

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.

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What we know: Deadly Storm Dennis whips at England, Wales and Ireland

Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

At least two deaths are being attributed to Storm Dennis on Monday as it continues to strike at parts of England, Wales and Ireland, per AccuWeather.

The big picture: Dennis is the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. The army has been deployed in the U.K. to help with flood relief.

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14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.