Despite the “repeal and replace” fervor surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this past year, two important facts remain: It’s still the law of the land, and annual tax reporting is still required.
Much of the confusion surrounding the status of the ACA stems from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late 2017. The new tax law minimized 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.
This means if you’re an applicable large employer (ALE) with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees, your ACA reporting obligations remain unchanged. Under the Employer Shared Responsibility rule, you must file the proper 1095 forms with the IRS and send summary statements to employees indicating “minimum essential coverage” was offered.
The Risk of Noncompliance Continues
Employers should be aware that the IRS has enhanced its system for identifying non-compliant ALEs and continues to penalize employers who didn’t report in 2015 or 2016. First, the IRS sends out Letter 5699, stating that it believes an employer was an ALE but neglected to provide the proper ACA information. It asks the employer to confirm the name used when filing, the Employer Identification Number (EIN) and the date the ACA information returns were submitted to the IRS. From there, the IRS sends out Letter 226J to notify employers of any penalty assessments. To date, over 30,000 letters have been sent levying over $4 billion in fines.
Keep in mind, too, that the ACA reporting fines have increased for 2018:
Meet Your Tax Reporting Obligations
With the IRS following through with enforcement – and the increased penalties for non-compliance – it’s critical to stay on track.
The ACA filing deadlines for 2019 are as follows:
efileACAforms.com offers the quickest and easiest way to file your mandatory ACA forms. Simply input your data and we’ll take care of the rest. We print and mail copies (or email a secure link) to your employees and e-file your forms directly with the IRS. We also keep you in the loop throughout the hassle-free process with timely email communications and confirmations.Please note that the IRS has issued ACA reporting forms for the 2018 tax season. They will be available on efileACAforms.com.