Tax Reform Does Not Change Requirements for Employers
While the newly passed tax reform bill will release individuals from the federal mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for health insurance, employers are still on the hook for 2017 ACA reporting and compliance — as well as for all upcoming years as long as the law is in place.
That means compliance and reporting for the ACA requires applicable large employers (ALEs) to offer appropriate and affordable health coverage to their full-time employees who work an average of 30 or more hours per week (or an average of 130 hours per month). Employers must face reality and continue to be compliant or face the consequences.
For 2017 ACA reporting and compliance, employers are required to track the hours worked of part-time and variable-hour employees (VHEs) to determine if they should be offered coverage like all other full-time employees.
The Employer Shared Responsibility rule of the ACA still requires employers to file annual information returns with the IRS and send summary statements (1095s) to verify the “minimum essential coverage” as mandated by ACA is being met. Employers should be working with all involved departments, reviewing employee data, ensuring any errors are corrected, and making preparations for reporting 2017 data to the IRS on 1095s and the 1094 transmittal.
Penalties Still Apply
Despite the repeal of the individual mandate, employers should NOT modify any of their ACA processes. For 2017 ACA reporting and compliance, employer mandates remain in effect, as do the laws that address penalties for non-compliance and employer assessments.
IRS Extends Deadline for 1095s
On December 22, 2017, the IRS announced it had extended the 2018 due dates for distribution Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees:
“Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2018 to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of Jan. 31.”
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