With the Affordable Care Act compliance season approaching, the Internal Revenue Service recently released its final forms for guidance with the ACA. ACA compliance is mandated by the U.S. federal government, making knowledge and use of these forms essential for human resource managers. Final instructions for the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 were released in October alongside the forms, giving employers some guidance to manage the task of reporting. Fortunately for businesses, the forms are largely similar to those from 2016, meaning compliance reporting should be familiar terrain for HR this year. There are a few differences, however – the regulations related to Section 4980H Transition Relief have been removed, for example.
There have also been changes to penalty amounts for noncompliance with reporting – the annual maximum is now $3,218,500, up from the 2016 maximum of $3,193,000, making proper compliance essential.
Organizations should familiarize themselves with the forms sooner rather than later in order to make compliance reporting as smooth as possible. There are a few crucial dates companies must be aware of: Jan. 31, 2018 is the date by which individual statements from 2017 should be produced. Businesses will also need to file 2017 IRS returns by Feb. 28, 2018 if electing to file with paper. If companies choose to file IRS forms electronically, they must do so by April 2, 2018.
Under ACA Code Sections 6055 and 6056, companies are required to report to the federal government what individual and group health insurance options they offer to staff members. Each year, businesses must file each of these forms to the IRS:
- A transmittal form (1094-B or 1094-C) to track all returns filed for the previous calendar year.
- A statement form (1094-B or 1094-C) for each separate individual who has been presented with minimum essential coverage.
There are other compliance changes, issues and reminders you should be aware of as the time to report approaches. You can find these and other important topics covered in our ACA Compliance Bulletin. Take some time to explore this document to prepare yourself to file in the new year.