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If I owe a penalty, when and how do I have to pay it?

If you did not maintain minimum essential coverage every month of this year and you don’t qualify for an exemption you will need to pay a “shared responsibility payment” to the IRS on your federal income tax return . If you are like most people, you will need to file your tax return by April 15 next year.

However, for 2018, the IRS has made it easier for people to claim a hardship exemption directly on your tax return by checking the box on Form 1040.  You can claim the hardship exemption if you experienced circumstances that made it hard for you to obtain coverage in 2018.  You will not be asked to provide documentation of the hardship when you file, though you should keep any documentation for your records.