IRS: Obamacare Mandates Still in Effect

Individuals and employers hoping that the IRS would ease off on “Obamacare” enforcement might be in for a rude awakening. In a published statement last month, the tax agency announced that it would reject returns submitted without health insurance information.

Employer and Individual Mandates

One of the tenants of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the so-called individual mandate, or the requirement that most Americans maintain a health insurance plan. As part of that, the law also stipulates that employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer health insurance.

There are employer reporting requirements tied to the law as well. Companies subject to the employer mandate must file IRS Forms 1095-C and 1094-C, which outline the benefits they offered to employees that year. These reports are used by the tax agency to track who has complied with the employer and individual mandates. A summary of 2018 ACA reporting deadlines is below:

ACA Reporting Deadlines

  • January 31, 2018: Provide employees with a copy of Form 1095-C

  • February 2, 2018: Form 1094-C due to the IRS (if filing by paper)

  • April 2, 2018: Form 1094-C due to the IRS (if filing electronically)

Note that companies with 250 or more employees are required to file their reports electronically. While the IRS has made it an annual habit to extend filing deadlines for the above, there’s no indication it plans on doing so for this cycle.

Going into the new year, the IRS remains committed to enforcing both individuals’ and employers’ ACA obligations. Despite the noise in Washington, businesses should proceed with their required filings as they would have otherwise. If you’re handling this year’s reports through a benefits broker or technology vendor, work closely with them to ensure compliance with the law’s upcoming deadlines. 

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