Post sponsored by efile4Biz
By Rick Roddis
Since its inception, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created great confusion for employers. The past year was particularly murky, due to a handful of attempts by GOP lawmakers to repeal the controversial legislation.
Combine this with the recent tax-overhaul bill, and many employers have been left wondering, Is the ACA still in effect? Is 2017 reporting required? Will the IRS take action if I don’t file?
Yes, yes, and YES!
Let’s dispel any myths right here, right now. Upon signing the new tax-reform legislation in late December, President Trump declared that the ACA was “essentially” repealed. Not so. Instead, only the individual mandate, which penalizes Americans who don’t carry minimum health coverage, was eliminated. And this change doesn’t take effect until 2019.
The rest of the ACA, including employer reporting of health coverage to the IRS, remains untouched. This means covered employers still must complete their ACA filings for the 2017 tax year or face potential penalties. To repeat: ACA is still the law, and employers must comply with the upcoming reporting requirements.
Mark your calendars with the new deadline
Although there’s no chance of a repeal before this year’s tax-filing season, the IRS did make an ACA announcement that many employers will welcome. On December 22, 2017, the IRS extended the due date for employers to provide copies of the 1095-C ACA forms to employees and recipients. The new deadline is:
March 2, 2018 (previously January 31, 2018)
The 30-day extension is automatic, so employers don’t have to request it. The timeframe for filing 2017 forms with the IRS remains the same, however. For 2018, these due dates are February 28 for paper filers and April 2 for electronic filers. (It’s important to note that employers filing more than 250 forms are required to e-file.)
Affected employers must prepare and report to meet the law’s tax-reporting requirements in order to avoid getting hit with costly penalties. In fact, due to stepped-up enforcement efforts by the IRS, annual 1095 information reporting holds even greater weight now. The government has budgeted for tremendous revenue from ACA penalties, so the IRS is committed to enforcing the rules.
The ACA reporting requirements have the biggest impact on applicable large employers (ALEs)—businesses with 50 or more employees. (Part-time employees count toward this number if their total work hours add up to one or more full-time employees.)
For more information and helpful resources on how to complete ACA reporting, visit the ACA Prepare & Report information center, free from ComplyRight.
You can also ease your tax-filing burden by working with an online e-filing service such as efileACAforms.com. With this affordable and efficient service, you just upload ACA form data (or complete the forms online) and the service provider does the rest—including e-filing the 1095 forms with the IRS and, optionally, printing and mailing copies to employees.
About the Author
Post by Rick Roddis
Rick Roddis is president of ComplyRight Distribution Services, a division of ComplyRight, Inc., a provider of cutting-edge compliance products and programs for businesses. Rick’s career began as an insurance underwriter and advanced into sales, operations, and management roles at different companies that partnered with Intuit, Staples, Office Depot, and others. In 2008, he became president of TFP Data Systems, the leading manufacturer of 1099, W-2, and ACA tax forms, envelopes, and software. Over the past four years, he’s focused on transforming ComplyRight Distribution Services from a traditional forms manufacturer to a digital provider of tax solutions for businesses through services like eFile4Biz.com