5 Critical ACA Updates Every Affected Employer Should Know

ACA Updates

Applicable Large Employers (or ALEs) with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees must provide access to qualifying health coverage.

Just as important as providing proper coverage, employers must file 1095-C annual information returns with the IRS and send summary statements to recipients/employees. Neglecting to meet any of these requirements can result in steep penalties, something every employer should be mindful of under current IRS laws.

Here’s a closer look at five critical factors regarding ACA compliance as we head into the upcoming tax-filing season:

1) Larger Penalties for Failing to Provide Adequate Coverage

An ALE may be penalized if it doesn’t offer minimum essential coverage (MEC) to at least 95% of its full-time employees and their dependents.

For calendar year 2022, the per-employee penalty for not offering MEC to eligible employees increased to $2,750 annually per full-time employee (minus the first 30 full-time employees).

A second type of penalty may be imposed if you offer coverage, but it isn’t affordable or doesn’t provide the ACA standard for minimum value. This penalty has increased to $4,120 annually per full-time employee who receives a tax credit for calendar year 2022.

2) PLUS, Increased Penalties for Reporting Delays and Oversights

In addition to satisfying the health coverage requirements, ALEs must report information to the IRS and send summary statements to employees via the 1095-C form (and 1094-C transmittal). Late filing can result in a $50-$290 penalty (depending on the delay), with intentional disregard costing as much as $580 per form.

Remember: Penalties are incurred per form, which includes the IRS information return and the recipient/employee statement. Therefore, if you fail to file a correct 1095-C with the IRS and don’t provide a correct statement to the recipient/employee, you may be subject to two penalties. And depending on the oversight, the maximum amount for the calendar year can reach into the millions.

3) Stepped-Up Enforcement by IRS

During the initial years the ACA was enacted, the IRS withheld enforcement of ACA coverage and reporting requirements to give businesses time to adjust and prepare. Not anymore. The IRS is now sending 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

4) New 2021 Filing Deadlines

As should be obvious now, ACA reporting is still required! The deadlines for filing are:

  • February 28, 2022 — IRS paper-filing deadline
  • March 2, 2022 — Mail 1095 copies to recipients/employees
  • March 31, 2022 — IRS e-filing deadline

(Note: As of 7/2022, the IRS has not released the final 2023 due dates for 2022 reporting.)

5) Lower Electronic Filing Threshold Forthcoming

Under the Taxpayer First Act, many businesses will no longer be able to submit paper forms and will have to file electronically instead. The current 250-return threshold will remain the same for calendar year 2022, but will drop in the coming years. Details pending IRS announcement.

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You can ease your tax-filing burden by working with an online e-filing service such as efile4Biz. With this affordable and efficient service, you simply upload ACA form data (or complete the forms online) and we can do the rest — including e-filing the 1095 forms with the IRS and, optionally, printing and mailing copies to employees.

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