Don’t be Fooled! ACA Employer Mandate Penalties are Still Effective

Contrary to popular belief, the ACA’s individual and employer mandate penalties continue to apply and the IRS intends to enforce them.

Much of the confusion surrounding the ACA mandate penalties stems from President Trump’s Inauguration day Executive Order, in which he directed federal agencies to “minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens” of the ACA until the law could be repealed or replaced. However, according to the IRS website, the mandates are still in force, despite the Executive Order and the IRS’ decision not to implement a program rejecting “silent returns” that indicated non-compliance with individual mandate requirements for 2016 tax filings.

In addition, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel has issued a series of letters (Letters 2017-0010, 2017-0013, and 2017-0017) clarifying its position on the ACA’s individual and employer mandate penalties. As reiterated in each of these letters, “[t]he Executive Order does not change the law; the legislative provisions of the ACA are still in force until changed by the Congress, and taxpayers remain required to follow the law,” including the payment of any applicable penalties. The IRS has indicated that penalty notices may be issued by the end of the year to employers who failed to file their required reports with the IRS for the 2015 tax year or who filed incomplete, inaccurate or late reports.

With this in mind, it is imperative that applicable large employers (ALEs) continue to comply with the ACA’s employer mandate, which requires that every ALE offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to its full-time employees or pay a penalty. In addition, ALEs must continue to report to the IRS information on the health plan coverage they offer (or do not offer) to their employees.

DRAFT forms for reporting 2017 tax year information are available below and on the IRS website:

Instructions for the 2017 forms have not yet been released.

Need assistance with your 2017 ACA Reporting?

 Contact an AssuredPartners team member about our Assured Answers ACA Reporting service. Clients must sign up and pay the required fees by October 31, 2017. For more information please visit www.assuredanswers.com.