News & Articles

IRS Updates FAQs on Certain ACA Provisions

Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2017

The Trump Administration and the Republican majority in Congress plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the coming months. In the meantime, however, employers must continue to comply with the existing rules for 2016, including the information reporting requirements and shared responsibility provisions.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Employers, HRAs

Are you Eligible for the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit?

Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2017

The Affordable Care Act established the health insurance premium tax credit (PTC). It first became available to taxpayers in the 2014 tax year. If you or a loved one is eligible for this refundable credit, it can be claimed even if the taxpayer doesn't owe federal income tax for the year.

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Tags: Healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Tax Credit

IRS Extends Deadline to Provide 2016 ACA Forms to Recipients

Posted on Fri, Dec 02, 2016

The IRS announced that it is extending one of the deadlines for providing 2016 Affordable Care Act (ACA) information statements to recipients.

Specifically, the due date for furnishing to individuals the 2016 Form 1095-B (Health Coverage) and the 2016 Form 1095-C, (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage) is extended from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017.

Q&As about the Process and Extended Due Date

What about filing these statements with the IRS? Is there an extension? No. The deadline for filing the forms with the IRS is not being extended. The IRS has determined that there's no similar need for additional time for employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage to file 2016 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS. The filing deadline for these returns remains February 28, 2017, if not filing electronically, or March 31, 2017, if filing electronically.

However, the extension in IRS Notice 2016-70 doesn't affect the provisions regarding automatic and additional extensions of time for filing information returns, which remain available under the normal rules by submitting Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns.

Who must furnish these statements? Health insurance issuers, sponsors of self-insured health plans, government agencies that administer government-sponsored health insurance programs, and other providers of "minimum essential coverage" must generally file annual returns reporting information for each individual for whom such coverage is provided. An entity filing an information return reporting minimum essential coverage to the IRS must also furnish a written statement to each individual listed on the return that shows the information that must be reported to IRS for that individual.

The ACA also requires applicable large employers (generally, employers with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees in the previous year) to provide the individuals with Form 1095-C.

Why are these statements provided to employees? The purpose of this reporting is to allow taxpayers to establish, and for the IRS to verify, that the taxpayers were covered by minimum essential coverage and their months of enrollment during a calendar year.

Why is the deadline being extended? The IRS decided to extend the deadline following consultation with stakeholders and the Department of the Treasury, as a substantial number of employers, insurers and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time. The extension is automatic.

Do businesses and others need to do anything to take advantage of the extension? No. The extension is automatic. No documentation needs to be submitted to receive the extension from the IRS.

Penalty Relief

The IRS is also providing the same penalty relief that it provided with respect to 2015 returns. IRS Notice 2016-70 extends the good-faith penalty relief from penalties for failure to timely furnish and file the information returns from the 2015 tax year to the 2016 tax year. In determining good faith, the IRS will take into account whether an employer or other coverage provider made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting the required information to the IRS and furnishing it to employees and covered individuals.

Examples of good faith include gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent to prepare the data for submission to the IRS, or testing the ability to transmit information to the IRS. In addition, the IRS will take into account the extent to which an employer or other coverage provider is taking steps to ensure that it will be able to comply with the reporting requirements for 2017.

The IRS is encouraging employers and other coverage providers that don't meet the relevant due dates to still furnish and file. The IRS will take such furnishing and filing into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause.

The Future

IRS Notice 2016-70 states the tax agency doesn't anticipate extending this transition relief — either with respect to the due dates or with respect to good faith penalty relief — to reporting for 2017. However, as indicated in presidential election campaign promises, there could be major changes to the ACA under the Trump administration.

If you have questions about your ACA responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act, contact your EHTC tax, payroll or employee benefits advisor.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act (ACA), IRS, IRS Filing, Affordable Care Act

Compare and Contrast the Republican and Democratic Tax Reforms

Posted on Fri, Aug 12, 2016

With both major political party conventions finally behind us, it's time to focus on the upcoming national election. Among their many differences, the Republicans and Democrats have widely divergent tax platforms. While platforms are always relatively nonspecific and not necessarily synced with what the presidential candidates have in mind, it's still good to know what tax positions the two parties and their presidential candidates have staked out. Here's a quick summary.

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Tags: Tax, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Social Security, Tax Penalties, Marriage

3 Taxes People Love to Hate

Posted on Wed, Jul 27, 2016

Few people enjoy giving money to the IRS, but some types of taxes are viewed more unfavorably than others. Here are three worthy candidates vying for the title of most-hated tax.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Penalty, Health Insurance, Medicare, Taxes

Get Ready for Upcoming Affordable Care Act Compliance Deadlines

Posted on Fri, Oct 31, 2014

Just around the corner is an immediate deadline imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), November 5, 2014. Fortunately that is not a difficult one to fulfill. The requirement is to get a "health plan identifier number," or HPID. Small plans -- those through which less than $5 million flows in a year, have a November 5, 2015 deadline. The requirement pertains to the government's desire to simplify HIPAA compliance monitoring. For that, you will need to consult with an accounting professional for details.

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Tags: Healthcare, EHTC Article, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Healthcare Law, Health Insurance, IRS, ACA, Newsletter, Articles, Affordable Care Act

Another Delay of the ACA Health Care Mandate for Some Employers

Posted on Mon, Feb 24, 2014

In yet another alteration to the Affordable Care Act, certain mid-size companies now have an additional year before the "play or pay" employer mandate kicks in. This surprising news became known when final regulations were issued by the U.S. Treasury Department on February 10. These regulations include important information for larger businesses as well. Find out if your company is affected and what your responsibilities are in relation to the changes. 

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Tags: Healthcare, EHTC Article, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Employers, business consulting

Planning to Hire Temps for the Holiday Season? Look Before You Leap

Posted on Mon, Nov 04, 2013

Seasonal workers can give you a lifeline to survive crunch periods like the upcoming holidays. However, it's wise to consider the implications carefully and not cut any corners in the hiring process. Some federal employment and employee benefit rules apply to seasonal workers, and others may not. If you are getting ready to hire for the holidays, keep these rules in mind, along with a few practical management tips. Conitinue reading to also find out how your seasonal hire may result in a hefty tax credit.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Tax Credit, Season Hiring, CPA Firm, Articles, Echelbarger, EHTC

ACA Update: Penalty Rules, Deadline Looming & Overall Confusion

Posted on Tue, Sep 24, 2013

The IRS recently issued final regs involving the penalty individuals must pay if they don't maintain minimum health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Meanwhile, employers are facing a major ACA deadline. By October 1, they must provide employees with an explanation of their health insurance options. Are you confused about the ACA? Don't feel bad. A new survey shows that about half of Americans don't understand basic health insurance terms or the law.

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Tags: EHTC Services, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Federal Taxes, Tax Penalties, CPA Firm, Echelbarger, EHTC

Delay in ACA Employer Mandate: Opportunity to Regroup

Posted on Mon, Jul 15, 2013

The Obama Administration's announcement on July 2 that it is pushing back the "pay-or-play" deadline by one year has already been scrutinized for possible political motives. Politics aside, employers need to know what they are required to do and when. How does the new 2015 deadline affect your organization?

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Tags: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Law, business consulting, CPA Firm, Echelbarger, EHTC