The SCOTUS decision in the King v. Burwell case asserts that businesses with more than 50 full-time workers will most definitely be required to file certain tax documents in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act. These forms, labeled 1095-Cs, tell the IRS what coverage the employer offered to whom in order to verify that this coverage qualifies as “affordable.”
Business owners will need to both provide 1095-Cs to their full-time employees (by January 31, 2016) and also report them to the IRS (by March 31, 2016). And, while filling out a simple form doesn’t sound too difficult, there are several considerations that businesses might need to think about to help ease the implementation of the new requirements.
1. More responsibility will fall on HR departments.
Despite the fact that HR departments aren’t usually involved with filing a lot of tax documents, they will be the natural choice for taking on this new responsibility. In addition to completing the forms, they’ll likely have to find and collect the necessary data and make sure the paperwork gets sent to the IRS in a timely manner.
2. Data collection may not be easy.
Speaking of the data, another problem is that it may be somewhat difficult to come by. Since this requirement is new, most companies don’t have an existing database that keeps all the required information in one place where it can be easily sorted or analyzed. What’s worse, some data may have never been tracked before at all. Take for example the tax ID numbers of dependents who receive health coverage through a spouse or parent, which is something that must be reported on the 1095-C.
3. The fines are steep.
Complying with the new requirements is already going to affect a company’s bottom line, just with the extra time it will take. The last thing business owners need is to be slapped with a steep penalty for something as simple as a typographical error, which, yes, can result in a fine. The best way businesses can keep the cost of compliance low is by getting ahead of the game, starting well in advance of the deadline, and checking and rechecking to ensure everything is error free.
For more information on the requirements and the effects they may have on small businesses, you can read this full article on TLNT.