In new, final regulations issued Wednesday, theInternal Revenue Service (IRS) said that parents must pay a federal fine under Obamacare if their children or dependent spouses are uninsured for any part of the year.
The regulations clarify provisions of Obamacare that seem to say that a parent will be held liable for Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty if they don’t have insurance coverage for their children.
In its final regulations, the IRS states that parents will be made to pay the penalty (called a "shared responsibility payment") if they can claim an uninsured child or spouse as a dependent, regardless of whether they actually claim them or not.
“The proposed regulations clarify that a taxpayer is liable for the shared responsibility payment imposed with respect to any individual for a month in a taxable year for which the taxpayer may claim a personal exemption deduction for the individual (that is, the dependent) for that taxable year,” the regulations state.
“Whether the taxpayer actually claims the individual as a dependent for the taxable year does not affect the taxpayer's liability for the shared responsibility payment for the individual.”
In other words, if a child goes without government-defined health insurance coverage for any month of the year, their parent must pay a fine to the government, regardless of whether they claim the child as a dependent or not.
The only thing that matters to the IRS is whether the parent could claim the uninsured child as a dependent.