Procedure for the Health Care Checkbox on the New Form 1040

Taxpayers take note! The health care checkbox on the 2018 Form 1040 is different from the checkbox on previous years’ forms. The checkbox on new Form 1040 now serves more than one purpose.

Previous Years’ Process

In previous years, you checked the “full-year” box (2017 Form 1040 line 61, Form 1040-EZ line 11, Form 1040-A line 38) only if you (and your family, if applicable) were covered under a qualified health insurance plan the entire year.

If you qualified for an exemption, whether for all or part of the year, you didn’t check the box and instead completed Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions.

What’s Different?

For tax year 2018, you may check the “full-year health care coverage or exempt” box on page one if you (and your family, if applicable) had qualifying health insurance or qualified for an exemption, or any combination of the two for all of 2018.

Note: “family” for this purpose refers to your spouse and anyone you claim as a dependent.

Form 8965 is now needed only if you (and your family, if applicable):

  • Qualifies for an exemption for at least part of the year, and
  • Are not able to check the “full-year” box on Form 1040

If you can’t check the full-year coverage or exempt checkbox, any shared responsibility payment is reported on Schedule 4 (Form 1040), line 61.

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