Human Resources News & Insights

Beware: Little-known law raises penalties for ACA reporting violations

The stakes for the already daunting task of ACA reporting have just been raised, and it’s all thanks to a new law you may not have heard much about.  

The law we’re referring to is Trade Preferences Extension Act, which was recently signed into effect by President Obama.

Buried in the law is a provision that significantly increases the penalties for violating the reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

$3 million or more

Under the law, the IRS can slap firms with increased penalties for failing to file the ACA reporting forms (Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C) or for filing those forms with incorrect or incomplete info.

The per-form penalty is now $250, which is more than double the original $100 fine. Those penalties will be capped at $3 million (up from $1.5M).

If the issue is due to intentional disregard, then the per-form fine will be $500 and there is no cap on the penalties the employer can rack up.

Like many ACA penalties, IRS said that it won’t impose penalties if firms can prove they made a good faith effort to comply with the 2015 reporting regs. But an “untimely” filed form won’t meet the good-faith requirement, the IRS said.

The good news

So how do employers feel about the increased penalties. Maybe not as bad as you’d think — at least according to new research.

Just a few years ago, the stress of complying with the many components of the healthcare reform law seemed to put even the steadiest execs in a panic. But those days seem to be a thing of the past.

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