- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 1, 2020

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island residents must now have health insurance or face a penalty on their taxes.

The state’s taxation division released a list of tax changes taking effect Wednesday, including the new health insurance mandate.

Residents who do not have minimum essential coverage in 2020, and do not qualify for an exemption, will face a penalty next year when filing a state tax return for 2020.

A federal appeals court ruling this month in New Orleans struck down the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that people have health insurance, leaving President Barack Obama’s signature health care law in legal limbo.

Rhode Island’s General Assembly passed legislation that was signed by the governor to enact the requirement and penalty in the state, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020.



Other tax changes taking effect Wednesday involve how employers withhold taxes and the amount of an employee’s wages to which the state’s unemployment insurance and temporary disability insurance taxes are applied.

Tax Administrator Neena Savage said many of the changes won’t impact tax returns filed in the new few months for the 2019 tax year, but they’re important to keep in mind for tax planning purposes throughout 2020.

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