IRS Publishes Draft Instructions for ACA Employer Mandate Tax Forms

Although compliance delays mean that employers will not be filing such forms until 2016 (for the 2015 tax year), the US Treasury Department and the IRS released draft instructions on August 28th on the reporting requirements for forms 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, and 1095-B, Health Coverage, as well as for forms 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, and 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.

Reporting Requirements
The 13-page draft instructions are posted on the IRS website and are for “large employers,” i.e. “employers who employed at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on business days during the preceding calendar year.”

As explained in the instructions, large employers will have certain forms that apply to the employer as a whole and certain forms that must be separately filed with respect to each employee.  Employers who self-insure have certain unique reporting requirements, as explained in the instructions.

Per the Treasury Department, these reporting requirements apply only to large employers as “employers that have fewer than 50 full-time employees are exempt from the ACA employer shared responsibility provisions and therefore from the employer reporting requirements.”

Interim Employer Mandate Relief
As a reminder, the final regulations issued in February, 2014 delayed implementation of the ACA employer mandate in a number of ways.  Generally, businesses that employ between 50 and 99 full-time workers (including full-time equivalents) have until 2016 to comply with the employer mandate. For employers with 100 or more full-time employees (including full- time equivalents), the employer mandate compliance threshold was lowered from requiring applicable employers to offer insurance to 95 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 to 70 percent in 2015, with the 95 percent threshold phased in beginning in 2016.

Upcoming Seminar to Learn More
Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge will be putting on another free ACA seminar in the near future focused on the employer mandate. Should you have any questions about the ACA employer mandate, including whether you qualify as a large employer, please do not hesitate to contact Janis L. Adams, or any member of Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge’s Labor and Employment practice group.

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