HR & Benefits News is a monthly column by Chris Cooley, co-founder of MyHRConcierge and SMB Benefits Advisors.
Maintaining Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance is an important part of a Grocer’s responsibilities. The ACA is the comprehensive health care reform law enacted in March 2010 (sometimes known as PPACA, or “Obamacare”).
To be ACA compliant, Applicable Large Employers (ALE) and self-insured employers are required to report annually under the Affordable Care Act. More specifically, ALEs are those with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees within the past year. These employers must report health care coverage information to the IRS and employees. Full-time employment status is defined by the ACA as averaging at least 30 hours of service per week or an average of 130 hours of service a month. Many grocers and other businesses meet these criteria and must report health care coverage information to the IRS and employees.
Take note of some state ACA requirement changes
Many are familiar with the federal requirements of annual reporting for the 1094 and 1095 forms; however, some states also are enacting their own health coverage reporting. Be aware that not every state follows the same reporting requirements.
For example, California, the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), New Jersey, and Rhode Island will require employer reporting of health coverage information to assist the state/district in enforcing individual health coverage mandates. In D.C. and New Jersey, the first reporting will occur in 2020. Reporting in California and Rhode Island starts in 2021. Always check your state law to ensure compliance.
Report your ACA
Don’t be fooled. Some businesses mistakenly believed that ACA wouldn’t be enforced, but the IRS has sent out penalty letters for previous tax years. We’ve heard of penalties ranging from $40,000 to upward of $2 million. Don’t let this be you.
Many employers have similar questions about reporting requirements. We hope the following FAQs will address these concerns.
Check out these FAQs about ACA reporting
- What are my responsibilities as an employer to be ACA compliant?
Employers required to report health care coverage must file one of two applicable forms, forms 1095-B or 1095-C. This can be filed electronically or on paper. These forms can be found on the IRS’ website.
- Am I ever required to file ACA reports electronically?
Yes. According to the IRS, if an employer is required to file 250 or more returns during the year, they must do so electronically.
- Where do I go for help with filing ACA forms?
Employers are encouraged to seek assistance through legal counsel, tax professionals or insurance brokers when filing these forms. For more information, see the FAQs provided by the IRS. You will want to be sure that forms are properly filled out to avoid issues thereafter.
- When are the forms due?
For the 2019 tax year, the deadline for providing the forms to employees was January 31, 2020. However, the deadline has been extended to March 31, 2020. If the IRS changes the due date again, the update will be shared here. Additionally, employers must file the forms with the IRS by February 28, 2020 (or March 31, 2020, if filing electronically).
The ACA infographic below shows ACA deadlines for 2020.
We hope we have covered some of the questions you may have had about what must be done to make sure that you are ACA compliant. If you have other questions, or HR concerns please contact Chris Cooley at 1-855-538-6947 x 108 or email [email protected]