ACA Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers Series

Employer-sponsored group health plans and health insurance issuers (or carriers) are subject to information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the obligation to report taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) of covered employees and their spouses and dependents. But how should employers and carriers respond when notified that a TIN is either missing or incorrect? The regulators have on more than one occasion provided an answer, most recently in a proposed regulation issued July 29, 2016 and published in the Federal Register on August 2, 2016. This post endeavors to explain how employers and carriers ought to handle missing or incorrect TINs under these proposed rules.

Continue Reading ACA Reporting on Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, AIRTN500 Error Messages, and Incorrect and Missing Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs)—What’s an Employer to Do?

My colleagues Alden Bianchi and Alta Ray wrote a Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal article entitled, The “The Emerging Contours of The Rules Concerning Wellness Programs Under (Conflicting) Federal Tax, Benefits and Employment Laws,” in which they outline the development of workplace wellness programs and the regulation of these programs. The article examines the impact of key federal laws, such as the ACA, HIPAA, GINA and the ADA, on workplace wellness programs and analyzes recent EEOC rules and emerging trends relating to third-party wellness programs and vendors.

As the ACA audit era approaches, many employers are wondering: what will happen?  What sorts of documentation will the IRS request?  What industries will be targeted?  And what can employers do to prepare?  In this post, I discuss what employers might expect based on my experience with audits under the Massachusetts Fair Share law, and provide some tips for audit preparation and troubleshooting.

Continue Reading As Affordable Care Act Enforcement Looms, Some Lessons Learned From Massachusetts

The head of our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alden Bianchi was recognized as the Federal Tax Contributor of the Year by Bloomberg BNA for his article, “Information Reporting Under the Affordable Care Act: I.R.C. §6055 and §6056,” which was featured in the Compensation Planning Journal. His work highlighted two new reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are of particular interest to employers. Lisa Fitzpatrick, Vice President and General Manager of Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting, stated that Alden is a “true thought leader in federal taxation” and has offered their subscribers “deep insights and practical expertise.” Alden has written extensively about the employer responsibilities under the ACA on the Employment Matters blog. You can access his blog posts on ACA compliance here.

By Alden Bianchi and Kendra Strickland

For the last half of 2015, we spent a good deal of time explaining the Affordable Care Act reporting requirements that applied to carriers and large employers. A compilation of these posts, which generally address the content of the ACA reporting requirements, is available here. This post examines the how of ACA reporting. In particular, it provides a primer on the electronic filing system—referred to as the Affordable Care Act Information Return System (AIR)—that the IRS has developed and deployed to facilitate the submission of reporting data to the government.

Continue Reading The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Electronic Backbone—The AIR System

In this volume, we have collected the 24 weekly blog posts that comprise the series entitled, “The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers.” The series appeared in the Mintz Levin Employment Matters blog during the latter-half of 2015. Each of the posts addressed compliance issues affecting employers and state-licensed insurance carriers, with a particular though not exclusive focus on the law’s reporting requirements.  The issues discussed week-to-week were generally gleaned from newly-issued guidance or developing client problems, questions or concerns. The issues addressed in these posts are generally of interest to carriers and employers and their respective advisors.  We hope you find this volume useful.

By now, many of you have heard about our firm’s Second Annual Employment Law Summit in New York on Thursday, January 28th.  The event features a keynote address by Carmelyn P. Malalis, Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and it also covers a variety of current employment-related topics.

You won’t want to miss my presentation, entitled “Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements in Plain English,” which is particularly timely.  While the IRS recently gave employers a modest reprieve (only a few months), much remains to be done in a relatively short period of time –an issue I recently addressed on this blog.  I’d also encourage you to check out my 5 predictions about how compliance with the ACA reporting rules will unfold.

I look forward to seeing you on the 28th in New York.

PS—If you are not already subscribed to our blog, I invite you to do so here.  We are planning to continue our weekly posts on the practical, real-world challenges and issues that employers and their advisors face as they navigate the Affordable Care Act.

This post concludes our half-year series of posts focusing on the Affordable Care Act’s reporting requirements. These requirements are challenging in the extreme. Carriers and employers, and their vendors, service providers and strategic partners, have scrambled up a steep learning curve. And in a few short months—a few more than originally anticipated as a result of Notice 2016-4, which was covered in last week’s post —compliance will begin in earnest. This post offers some predictions about how we expect compliance to unfold.

Continue Reading The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 24 of 24): 5 Predictions

Under the Affordable Care Act’s reporting requirements that have been the subject of this series, statements to responsible individuals (a/k/a “employees”)—i.e., Forms 1095-B and 1095-C—must be furnished on or before January 31 of the year following the calendar year of coverage. The IRS may grant an extension of time of up to 30 days for the provider to furnish the statement. Similarly, transmittal forms—Forms 1094-B and 1094-C—must be submitted to the IRS in either paper format by February 28, or electronic format by March 31, of the year following the calendar coverage year. (For 2016, the January 31 and February 28 due dates fall on weekend days; accordingly, in 2016 these dates are February 1 and February 29 respectively.) Groups that file 250 or more returns must file electronically.

Responding to pleas from a handful of major trade and industry associations, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service yesterday delayed these requirements.

Continue Reading The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 23 of 24): Notice 2016-4 Postpones Reporting and Filing Deadlines

The Treasury Department and the IRS this week issued Notice 2015-87 that addresses, among other things, the effect of Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) contributions, cafeteria plan flex credits and opt-out payments on affordability determinations for purposes of assessable payments under Code § 4980H(b). The notice also includes welcome clarifications relating to fringe benefit payments under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act and other, similar laws. This post explains how Notice 2015-87 changes the affordability calculus for these arrangements, both as a matter of substance and from the reporting perspective. The positions taken in Notice 2015-87 are consistent with our earlier predictions in the matter.

Continue Reading The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 22 of 24): Affordability, HRA Contributions, Flex Credits, Opt-Out Payments, and SCA Fringe Benefit Contributions under Notice 2015-87