As tax-filing season looms, many employers have questions about Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting. “Do I still need to file?” “If I don’t file, will the law be enforced?”
Although the ongoing efforts of Congress to repeal the ACA cast doubt on the legislation’s future, the IRS’ stance is clear. At the close of 2018, the law still stands – and the agency has sophisticated support systems in place to fully enforce it. This means all affected employers must file 1095-C reporting forms and provide copies to employees by the IRS deadline, or face the consequences.
Various Reasons for Reporting Confusion
The ongoing efforts of the current administration to “repeal and replace” the ACA have given many employers the false idea that compliance with ACA reporting requirements is optional.
Additional confusion was triggered by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late 2017. The tax legislation modified the individual mandate requiring individuals to have ACA-compliant health coverage (by removing the penalty for non-compliance). But this doesn’t go into effect until 2019 and, more important, the employer mandate still stands.
Under the Employer Shared Responsibility rule, applicable large employers (ALEs) with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees must file the proper 1095 forms with the IRS and send summary statements to employees.
Mark Your Calendar with the 2019 Deadlines
If you took a wait-and-see approach with the often-debated ACA, the time to act is now. Failure to meet the deadlines for furnishing and filing ACA forms is steep. You could be penalized as much as $270 a return for late filings, with intentional disregard costing up to $540 a return.
The ACA reporting deadlines are as follows:
Be aware, the IRS is enforcing the employer mandate, as well, identifying non-compliant ALEs and issuing penalties. The agency does this by:
To date, over 30,000 letters have been sent levying over $4 billion in fines. It’s important to note that the IRS has budgeted for these fines — indicating the agency fully intends to collect from employers not meeting ACA year-end reporting obligations.
Save Time and Effort with Online Filing
An IRS-approved e-filer, efileACAforms.com is the easiest way to complete your ACA reporting forms. Once you input your data, we handle the rest. We distribute copies to your employees and e-file your forms directly with the IRS. We also communicate throughout the hassle-free process with timely emails and confirmations.