One of the reasons I wrote the post, Affordable Health Insurance And The Individual Mandate, was to point out that if the lowest cost health insurance available on the exchange is greater than 8% of your income then you are exempt from the individual mandate penalty. Although the exemption was not applicable to me I was surprised that I would have been exempt from the penalty. That got me wondering how many people paid the penalty without checking first to see if they were exempt. According to this article, IRS: More paid Obamacare fine than expected, about 300,000 people likely made that mistake. Considering how easy it is to be exempt from the penalty and that 7.5 million people paid the penalty, I am surprised that only 300,000 made that mistake.
The Treasury Department said about 300,000 people who paid the penalty likely qualified for an exemption from having to have health coverage. There are a slew of exemptions from the Obamacare mandate based on income status or certain hardships.
“The IRS will be reaching out to these taxpayers to inform them about available exemptions and note that they may benefit from amending their tax return,” said Mark Mazur, assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, in a blog post Monday. “This outreach will also help educate taxpayers about the options they have for future years.”