House Committees Release ACA Replacement Bills

House Committees Release ACA Replacement Bills

OVERVIEW

On March 6, 2017, Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives issued two bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the budget reconciliation process. These bills, which were issued by the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, are collectively known as the American Health Care Act.

To become law, these bills must go through the legislative process, although a budget reconciliation bill can be passed with a simple majority vote. Debate on the legislation is scheduled to begin on March 8, 2017. (more…)

2016 Furnishing Deadline for ACA Reporting Delayed

2016 Furnishing Deadline for ACA Reporting Delayed

OVERVIEW

On Nov. 18, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-70 to:

  • Extend the due date for furnishing forms under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2016 for 30 days, from Jan. 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017; and
  • Extend good-faith transition relief from penalties related to 2016 information reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056.

Notice 2016-70 does not extend the due date for filing forms with the IRS for 2016. The due date for filing with the IRS under Sections 6055 and 6056 remains Feb. 28, 2017 (March 31, 2017, if filing electronically). (more…)

Health FSA Limit Will Increase for 2017

Health FSA Limit Will Increase for 2017

OVERVIEW

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a dollar limit on employees’ salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) offered under cafeteria plans. This dollar limit is indexed for cost-of-living adjustments and may be increased each year.

On Oct. 25, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2016-55 (Rev. Proc. 16-55). Rev. Proc. 16-55 increased the FSA dollar limit on employee salary reduction contributions to $2,600 for taxable years beginning in 2017. It also includes annual inflation numbers for 2017 for a number of other tax provisions. (more…)

Final Forms for ACA Reporting Released

Final Forms for ACA Reporting Released

OVERVIEW

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released final 2016 forms for reporting under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 6055 and 6056.

  • Forms 1094-B and 1095-B are used by entities reporting under Section 6055, including self-insured plan sponsors that are not applicable large employers (ALEs). Final 2016 versions of these forms and final instructions were released on Sept. 26, 2016.
  • Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are used by ALEs to report under Section 6056, as well as for combined Section 6055 and 6056 reporting by ALEs who sponsor self-insured plans. Final 2016 versions of these forms and final instructions were released on Sept. 30, 2016.

Minor changes were made to the forms, including the addition of two new “Offer of Coverage” codes for use on Form 1095-C.  The instructions also included some clarifications. (more…)

DOL Increases Penalties for Health Plan Violations

DOL Increases Penalties for Health Plan Violations

OVERVIEW

On July 1, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an interim final rule that increases the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed under various federal laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The interim final rule increases the civil penalty amounts associated with:

  • Failing to file an annual Form 5500 (as applicable);
  • Failing to provide the annual notice regarding premium assistance under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and
  • Failing to provide the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The increased amounts apply to civil penalties that are assessed after Aug. 1, 2016, for violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. (more…)

IRS to Accept ACA Filings After June 30 Deadline

IRS to Accept ACA Filings After June 30 Deadline

OVERVIEW

The IRS has announced that electronic Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns may continue to be filed after the filing deadline, which was June 30, 2016.

These returns are required under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 6055 and 6056, which were created by the ACA. Certain employers must file their returns electronically through the ACA Information Returns (AIR) Program.

The IRS will not assess penalties for late filing on reporting entities that have made legitimate efforts to file information returns, if they continue to make efforts and complete the process as soon as possible. In addition, penalties may be waived in some cases, for reasonable cause. (more…)