Aug 01, 2021
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Are You Ready for ACA Informational Reporting?

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    Are You Ready for ACA Informational Reporting?

     

    4-Minute Read

     

    It’s that time of year again – Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), and small employers with self-insured plans, will soon be required to provide full time employees with Form 1095-C, and the IRS with Form 1094-C. For calendar year 2021, employees must be provided forms by January 31, 2022. Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are due for filing with the IRS by  February 28, 2022 (or March 31, 2022 if filing electronically). 

    The law also provides for the provision of an automatic 30-day extension by filing Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns. No signature or explanation is required for the extension. However, you must file Form 8809 on or before the due date of the returns.  

    An Applicable Large Employer (ALE) is one that had an average of 50 or more full time employees in the preceding calendar year. Hours of service of full time equivalent (e.g. part time employees) are also considered for determining ALE status. Companies with multiple business units connected through common ownership must combine employee totals due to IRS controlled group rules. 

     

    Who is Required to File 

      Fully-Insured Plan  Self-Insured Plan 
    Non-ALE  Not required to file.  Forms 1094-B and 1095-B. 
    ALE 

    Forms 1094-C and 1095-C  

    (Part III will not be completed) 

    Forms 1094-C and 1095-C for employees. (Either B-Series or C-Series forms for non-employees). 
    Insurance Provider  Forms 1094-B and 1095-B.  Not applicable. 

     

    2021 versions of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are currently available from the IRS and can be downloaded from the IRS website here: www.irs.gov/forms-instructions 

    Electronic filing under the IRS “AIR” system is required for entities that have 250 or more information returns, and the IRS encourages electronic filing by employers of all sizes. 

     

    Increased IRS Enforcement and Penalties 

    In addition to the penalty scheme for employers subject to the pay-or-play employer mandate, there are additional penalties assessed for failure to file required returns with the IRS, and separately for failure to furnish forms to employees. However, many of these proposed penalties were not collected due to discretionary relief. In a 2020 Treasury Inspector General report it was observed that between 2015 – 2016 the IRS issued $17 billion in proposed ACA penalties, but only collected $749 million. The IG’s office was critical of IRS efforts to enforce the ACA and therefore we expect to see increased compliance activity. We have already seen an uptick in the number of notices issued under Sections 6721 and 6722 (failure to file and failure to furnish forms) and it has been reported that relief granted for these violations will end following tax year 2020. Companies that intentionally disregard informational reporting requirements can be subject to a penalty of $550 per form, and penalty caps can range between $556,500 and $3.3 million for companies with revenue over $5 million. 

    The IRS also reminded large employers in 2020 that there is no statute of limitations for the assessment of ACA penalties 

     

    The Time to Be Prepared is Now 

    Here are a few steps to take to be fully prepared for ACA reporting come February: 

    1. Be prepared to prove that you offered coverage to at least 95% of your FT employees in each calendar month of the year. 
    2. Be able to prove that your offer of coverage was affordable to each FT employee by one of the three (3) available affordability safe harbors. 
    3. Study the Form 1095-C coding requirements to self-audit for any errors. 
    4. Familiarize yourself with any special 1095-C coding conditions, such as union employees. 
    5. If using technology to prepare and transmit ACA reporting, check to ensure that all HR facts are correctly inputted into the system. 
    6. Audit all ACA reporting produced by technology platforms and payroll providers for accuracy before transmission to the IRS and mailing to employees. 

     

    This information is general and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice. You should not act on this information without consulting legal counsel or other knowledgeable advisors. 

    What "covered" should feel like.

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