AFFORDABLE-CARE-ACT Understanding

As the Affordable Care Act/ObamaCare dials in, the realities of more reporting, taxes and fines for employers who do not comply are starting to manifest.  With new fines ranging from $50 to $500 per form, it’s important to know what you as an employer are responsible for.  Your broker/consultant should be handling these issues for you.  But, be aware, if they’re not, the buck stops with you (no pun intended) because you are who the IRS will hold responsible.  Below are three specifics that apply to employers for the year 2015-2016:

  • Employers get another reason to gear up early for the health reporting rules: higher fines for incorrect forms.  A new law substantially raised the penalties for firms that file incorrect information returns.  The fines range from $50 a return if a mistake is corrected with 30 days of filing to $500 per return for intentional errors.  These penalties aren’t limited to 1099’s.
  • The increased fines also apply to health care information returns.  Employers with 50 or more full-time employees must report 2015 coverage data for each full-timer to IRS and workers on Form 1095-C, and give more information to IRS on Form 1094-C.  Companies with fewer than 50 employees that self-insure will use Form 1095-B and 1094-B for these purposes.  So with higher penalties, accuracy is paramount.
  • Firms will be able to seek filing extensions for the health reporting forms.  Employers can get an automatic 30-day extension for the Feb. 29, 2016, deadline (March 31 if e-filing) to file the 1094s and 1095s with the IRS by using Form 8809.  Companies needing extra time can ask the Revenue Service for 30 additional days.  The IRS will soon announce the procedures for firms that want to extend the Feb. 1 date to give 1095 forms to employees.  In that case, the maximum extension will be limited to 30 days, and businesses must give a valid reason why the extra time is needed.

 

Cary Hall

America’s Healthcare Advocate