July 18, 2013

By Karen Dunn, JD, LLM

On July 2, 2013, the Obama Administration announced the postponement to 2015 of the mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This gives employers more time to comply with the new rules. Without this relief, the requirements would apply beginning January 1, 2014.

According to a White House Blog, this will give employers more time to comply with the new rules and the government time to revamp and simplify the reporting requirements. “Since employer responsibility payments can only be assessed based on this new reporting, payments won’t be collected for 2014,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. “[W]e are working hard to adapt and to be flexible in employer and insurer reporting as we implement the law.”

The Affordable Care Act is meant to increase access to health insurance coverage and ensure that employers continue to provide some degree of coverage. While not explicitly mandating that employers offer health insurance to their employees, the Act imposes reporting requirements and penalties on employers with 50 or more full time equivalent employees that fail to offer health coverage. This applies to not-for-profit tax exempt employers as well as government entities and other employers.

Additional guidance should be forthcoming. In the meantime, if you are an employer that may have 50 or more full time equivalent employees, speak to your tax or legal counsel to determine how to prepare for the new requirements. To help prepare, the IRS suggests that when the guidance is available regarding the information reporting rules, employers voluntarily report for 2014. You now have more time, so use it wisely.

© Clark Nuber PS, 2013.  All Rights Reserved

This article contains general information only and should not be construed as accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should engage a qualified professional advisor.