In taking a momentary break from the cybersecurity series, this article considers the upcoming reporting deadlines, which have recently been extended by the IRS, for those applicable large employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large employers – generally those with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees under the ACA – may have spent 2015 calculating which employees are eligible for health care benefits under the “look back” method or through other calculations.
Now those calculations will be tested by the looming reporting provisions of the ACA.
Applicable large employers, irrespective of what level of health benefits, if any, they provide, must send individual reports to every employee who worked full-time for at least one month during 2015. Employees may use this information to determine whether, for each month of the calendar year, they may claim the premium tax credit on their individual income tax returns.
In a notice dated late December 2015, the IRS has now extended the date to send these 2015 individual reports from the old deadline of February 1, 2016, to the new deadline of March 31, 2016.
Large employers must also send those individual reports, along with a transmittal report, to the IRS. The IRS will use this information to administer the employer-shared responsibility provisions and the premium tax credit. This deadline also has been extended from the old deadline of February 29, 2016, to the new deadline May 31, 2016, if not filing electronically, and from March 31, 2016, to the new deadline of June 30, 2016, if filing electronically.
The newly extended deadlines apply only to the returns and statements for the 2015 calendar year. Employers who fail to report will be subject to a penalty of $100 per violation, up to a maximum of $1.5 million annually. However, those employers that report within 30 days of the deadline will only be fined $30 per violation. Those that file within five months of the deadline will be fined $60 per violation. For the 2016 calendar year, the penalties will increase to $250 per violation, with a maximum of $3 million per year. Applicable large employers should consult their trusted tax advisers to determine how these deadlines affect their businesses.
Kara Gansmann, a North Carolina native, is an associate in Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP’s Wilmington office, where she focuses her litigation and appellate practice on various aspects of labor and employment law, business and contractual disputes, medical malpractice, and HOA matters. To contact Kara Gansmann, call (910) 777-6055 or email her at [email protected].
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