The Earlier, The Better: Get To Know Your 2017 ACA Reporting Dates!

The Earlier, The Better: Get To Know Your 2017 ACA Reporting Dates!

As we move into fall, it is important to begin thinking about your 2017 ACA reporting dates. While the IRS provided a number of breaks for 2016 such as deadline extensions as well as leniency for businesses that didn’t get everything correct, it will tighten the leash next year considerably.

Form 1094-C

Paper submissions of this form are due by February 28th, 2017, while electronic submissions are due by March 31st. The form 1094-C is designed to verify that the ALEs or Applicable Large Employers followed the guidelines of the IRS as well as the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate.

Specifically, this form is used to report data regarding whether employers provided basic affordable health coverage for employees that are eligible to receive it. While many employers will have the option to file this form electronically or by paper, each ALE that files 250 forms or more of each type has to file their returns electronically.

Form 1095-C

This form must be submitted to employees by January 31st, 2017, the same day as their W-2 form. The 1095-C is responsible for assisting employees in finishing their tax returns through the provision of key information involving their medical coverage for the previous twelve months. Employees must note on Line 61 of their tax return whether their relatives or they had standard medical coverage. When issuing Form 1095-C to employees it should include the following details:

  • Worker ID number
  • Proof of Standard Medical Coverage
  • The Employee’s Social Security Number and that of their dependents

Additional Facts Regarding 2017 ACA Reporting Deadlines

While receiving deadline extensions next year will be possible, you must apply for them, and they will be assessed for individual employers. Applying for an extension will require you to fill out and submit an 8809 form by or before the deadline for the automatic extension. This form does not need a signature, unless you require another thirty day extension, at which point an authorized agent can sign it.

There are a number of penalties which can result from failure to submit the 1094 or 1095 on time. Penalties may also be assessed if the forms are incomplete. This penalty includes $250 for each form, up to $3 million annually. 1095-C Forms with incorrect information on them will be assessed $500 each.

The 1094 and 1095 forms are distinct in that unlike W-2 forms they may require data form multiple sources for a single yearly filing. This will require employers to get information which is tracked from benefits, human resources and payroll. As such procrastination on the part of employers is extremely risky, because if all the data hasn’t been collected and processed by the start of 2017 it can result in significant penalties.

How To Plan Ahead for 2017 ACA Reporting

There are three ways in which you can plan for ACA reporting deadlines for next year. The first is to figure out whether or not your business is designated ALE by the Affordable Care Act. The second is to verify that the correct systems have been established to accurately perform ACA reporting while remaining in compliance. The third is to review the IRS guidelines for forms 1094 and 1095.

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