- Healthcare reform is stalled in Congress, but the IRS is still enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting mandate, HR Morning reports. This means the agency expects employers that didn't file to do so or pay a penalty. The IRS hasn't imposed penalties for non-compliance in the two years the ACA was in force.
- According to HR Morning, the agency recently issued information letters about the employer and individual mandates and what to do to stay compliant. The letter includes a warning that penalties would apply to all non-filers. The Treasury Department also issued a 43-page report, Assessment of the Efforts to Implement the Employer Mandate under the Affordable Care Act, which explains the system for identifying non-filers.
- Non-compliance with the ACA mandate could net the IRS $228 billion in penalties, says HR Morning.
Employers shouldn't hold their breath for Congress to act on repealing or replacing the ACA. The bottom line is that Republican lawmakers in the House barely passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to replace the ACA. Then the Senate fell short of the votes needed to pass its own bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
Following the Senate's defeat of the BCRA, the ACA remains as is. Republicans have vowed to take up the fight again but Obamacare is still in force, and the individual and employer mandates still stand.
The penalties for non-compliance are too steep for employers to ignore. With a mechanism for identifying delinquent employers in place, complying should be a no-brainer for employers.
Reporting, which is largely an HR duty, is one of the most burdensome of the ACA's provisions. If lawmakers can see a way to work out a bipartisan plan to amend the ACA, perhaps the burdensome aspects will go away and employers can keep the more favorable provisions.