The end of 2017 brought a flurry of activity around the ACA, some of which generated confusion. Despite statements to the contrary, the ACA is still the law of the land, and employers are still required to report ACA information to the IRS or face financial penalties.
Here is an update on the state of the ACA as 2018 begins:
The employer mandate is still in place. The recently enacted tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, did not remove nor alter in any way the requirement for eligible employers—generally those with at least 50 full-time employees—to provide health insurance to employees. Along those same lies, employers must continue to send ACA forms 1094 and 1095 B and C to recipients as well as file those forms with the IRS.
The new tax law did zero out penalties for the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, effectively repealing the individual mandate, but the employer mandate remains intact.
The IRS is enforcing penalties for late ACA filers. Organizations that fail to meet reporting deadlines will be subject to financial penalties from the IRS. The penalties are as follows:
- Failure to file timely returns: $260 per return (maximum $3,193,000)
- Intentional disregard for filing timely returns: $530 per return (with no maximum)
- Forms filed within 30 days of due date: $50 per return (maximum $532,000)
- Forms filed after 30 days of due date but before August 1: $100 per return (maximum $1,596,000)
The IRS clarified that it will allow employers to request penalty abatements for incorrect filings if they demonstrate that they made a good-faith effort to file correctly and on time. However, late filings will not be eligible for good-faith abatements, so meeting deadlines is still critical.
The IRS has set deadlines for tax year 2017 filings. In late December, the IRS finalized deadlines for TY2017 ACA reporting. Filers must mail recipient copies of 1095 B and C forms by March 2, 2018. The deadline for filing ACA forms electronically with the IRS is March 31; the deadline for filing paper forms is Feb. 28.
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