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ACA Reporting for 2020 Just Got More Complicated!

 This year has been an odd one to say the least.  We have seen one unprecedented situation unfold after another and it is unclear if there is an end in sight.   For employers that are struggling to decide whether to lay off employees, comply with state and local ordinances that change from week to week, and possibly how to fund the next payroll cycle Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance may not seem like a real concern, or just a minor one in the back of an employer’s mind. However, if gone unaddressed ACA noncompliance could produce a knockout blow (financially speaking) just at a time where employers may be getting back on their feet financially.  

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Fifth Circuit Rules Individual Mandate Unconstitutional: However, case gets one step further from the Supreme Court

On Wednesday, December 18th, The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 vote that the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional.  As a refresher, the individual mandate required U.S. citizens to purchase healthcare coverage or pay a penalty.  However, the penalties were zeroed out as part of the 2017 Republican Tax Reform bill.  The zeroing out of the penalties is what initially started the legal process that the Fifth Circuit ruled on yesterday. 

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How to remain ACA compliant during an acquisition

Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance is likely the last thing on anyone’s mind during an acquisition.

But that would be a mistake.

Even when everything looks and feels similar after one company purchases another – the same employees, the same company name – that’s not true about their ACA reporting.

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ACA Penalties have no statute of limitations!

We are neck deep in the current ACA reporting cycle and while the main focus of employers should be meeting their fulfillment and e-filing deadlines, it is important they take note of a clarification recently made by the Internal Revenue Service.  The IRS has stated that penalties for noncompliance with the Employer Shared Responsibility Tax have no statute of limitations on when the IRS can impose them.  This means that employers are never “safe” or “out of the woods” from receiving penalty letters, even from the very first reporting season, which happened in the spring of 2016.  This clarification came from the Chief Counsels Office at the IRS, and the entire memorandum can be read here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-lafa/20200801f.pdf

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IRS Grants 2019 ACA Reporting Relief

On December 2nd the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2019-63, which provides three sets of relief for the upcoming Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting year.  This an early Christmas gift for employers and health insurers that are subjec to ACA reporting.  Two types of relief are very familiar if you have any experience with ACA reporting.  The third type of relief is new to this reporting cycle and only applies to health insurers that are required to provide the B Series forms, so it is somewhat irrelevant to employers in their compliance journey.

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Breaking News: Expanded EEO-1 data due Sept. 30

On March 4, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found the government did not have proper justification to stay the implementation of the EEOC’s expanded Obama-era reporting requirements, which included workforce pay data and hours worked data. Because of this, the court has vacated the 2017 stay and ordered the previous approval of the revised EEO-1 form shall be in effect. 

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