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Choosing the Right HCM Software Provider Is Essential to ACA Compliance

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The complex nature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is well documented, and for good reason. The criteria for applicable large employers (ALEs) contain a sea of intricacies, which are tough to keep up with. It’s no wonder, then, that so many employers rely on payroll providers to assist them with their ACA duties.

But not all human capital management (HCM) providers are equipped to handle ACA challenges, and it’s no consolation that the ACA does not hold third parties accountable for mistakes.

So what’s an employer to do?

Consider choosing an HCM provider that offers the educational, monitoring, evaluation and reporting tools needed for compliance.

Teach You the Ropes

As an ALE, you’re subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility (ESR) provisions. Your HCM provider should help you understand your responsibilities, which include:

  • identifying all full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, as defined by federal law;
  • providing the IRS with detailed information on full-time employees;
  • determining the type of coverage offered to full-time workers;
  • monitoring employment changes that may cause you to have 50 or more full-time employees, which would subject you to the ESR; and
  • evaluating your group coverage to ensure it meets ACA standards.

Your provider should explain key aspects of the ACA in plain language and provide you with ongoing legislative updates.

Alert You of Critical Occurrences

Chances are, you’ve got a full schedule, which makes monitoring the issues affecting compliance a burden. Still, it’s a necessary task, which can be simplified by an ACA dashboard that:

  • tells you when you’re reaching ALE status;
  • alerts you when full-time and part-time employees are nearing full-time status; and
  • notifies you when employees’ look-back measurement periods are ending.

Above all, alerts and notifications give you timely information and the ability to better manage hours of service for your employees.

Assess Historical and Current Data

At the heart of ACA noncompliance, you’ll likely find errors that could have been avoided through careful data analysis.

For example, employees must be properly categorized as full-time, part-time or seasonal. In addition, accuracy of hours worked is important to determining ALE status, which employees are full-time, and the end-of-year reporting process. Mistakes in these areas can be caught and corrected beforehand through periodic data reviews.

An enhanced evaluation tool lets you access audit trails of historical data, plus review current ACA information. These reports are crucial to regulatory compliance and can help you fulfill your reporting requirements. Evaluation also gives you actionable insights into your responsibilities as an employer.

Reporting That Satisfies IRS Criteria

ALEs must report the total annual cost of their employer-sponsored group health coverage on employees’ W-2, provide employees with a statement of coverage, and report to the IRS through Forms 1094/1095 –B or –C.

The information provided on these forms needs to be correct because the IRS uses it to determine whether:

  • an employee qualifies for premium tax credits;
  • you’re complying with the “pay or play” mandate; and
  • individuals have the minimum essential coverage.

Considering the extensive scope of ACA reporting, a payroll system that facilitates the following is of paramount importance:

  • employment status changes,
  • coverage affordability and other qualifying factors,
  • trends in employee hours and ALE status, and
  • minimum value and “pay or play” calculations.

In the end, the right payroll provider has a simple goal: to relieve you of your worries by mitigating compliance risks, including those associated with the ACA.



Author Bio: Robert Barclay has been the Tax Research Team Lead at Paycom since 2012, and has been instrumental in such company projects as the development of its Affordable Care Act compliance product, implementation of geolocation services and redesign of Form W-2. He joined Paycom in 2011, bringing more than 20 years of experience with the capital markets consulting practices of Ernst & Young in Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala.; and Causey Demgen & Moore in Denver, Colo. A native Oklahoman, Barclay is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, where he played football as linebacker.

ACA ‘Cadillac Tax’ Delayed to 2022

ACA ‘Cadillac Tax’ Delayed to 2022

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The short-term spending bill that ended the government shutdown on Jan. 22 included a small provision that again delayed the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “Cadillac tax,” now to 2022.

So nicknamed because it targets employer-sponsored health plans with the most generous level of benefits, the Cadillac tax originally was to take effect in 2018. In 2015, the effective date was pushed to 2020, and now the new bill pushes the effective date two additional years into the future.

When – or if – the Cadillac tax goes into effect, it will impose a 40% excise on the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage exceeding a certain dollar value per employee. The dollar value would have been $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage in 2018, had the tax not been delayed. The law calls for the amount to be adjusted annually with growth in the consumer price index.

How does this affect Employers?

Employers do not have to contend with the tax for an additional two years. The IRS has not yet issued regulations addressing implementation; with this additional delay, the agency likely will not do so in the near future.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in ACA, Blog, Compliance, Featured

Erin Maxwell

by Erin Maxwell


Author Bio: As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Erin Maxwell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, focusing on health and employee benefits laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. She previously served as assistant general counsel at Asset Servicing Group in Oklahoma City. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, Maxwell enjoys politics, historical mysteries and spending time with her family.

Deadline Extended

Employer Deadline Extended for Furnishing 2017 ACA Forms

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Distribution of 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Forms 1095-B or -C to your employees has been extended.

As issued in Notice 2018-06, the IRS has extended the deadline from Jan. 31 to March 2. (However, the deadline to provide Forms W-2 and 1099 to employees and contract workers remains as Jan. 31.)

Filing deadlines unchanged

While the deadline to furnish forms was extended, the filing deadlines remain the same: Feb. 28 for paper forms, and April 2 for electronic forms.

IRS Notice 2018-06 emphasizes that employers who do not comply with the due dates for furnishing or filing are subject to penalties under sections 6722 or 6721.

Good-faith transition relief extended

The IRS also announced the extension of good-faith transition relief. This may allow an employer to avoid some penalties if it can show that it made good-faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements for 2017.

This relief applies only to incorrect and incomplete information reported on the ACA forms, and not to a failure to file or furnish the forms in a timely manner. Additionally, the IRS stated it does not anticipate extending either the good-faith transition relief or the furnishing deadline in future years.

Contact a trusted tax professional if you have questions on how this may affect your business specifically.

Click here to read more about how the ACA is affect by the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in ACA, Blog, Compliance, Featured

Erin Maxwell

by Erin Maxwell


Author Bio: As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Erin Maxwell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, focusing on health and employee benefits laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. She previously served as assistant general counsel at Asset Servicing Group in Oklahoma City. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, Maxwell enjoys politics, historical mysteries and spending time with her family.

Employers Unaffected by ACA Changes in New Tax Law

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On December 22, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill includes a provision that reduces the penalty for not complying with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate to $0, effectively removing the penalty for individuals who do not have health insurance coverage after the effective date of Jan. 1, 2019.

However, this update will not impact employers, since the law does not remove the employer mandate (the requirement that large employers offer health insurance coverage to their full-time employees or pay a penalty) or the associated employer reporting requirements. Large employers subject to the mandate still face penalties if they fail to comply with either, and the IRS has begun sending out notices with preliminary assessments of the employer shared responsibility penalty for tax year 2015.

Employers subject to the employer mandate should continue to comply and be prepared to file Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS in accordance with the normal deadlines.

For the 2017 tax year, the deadlines to provide Forms 1095-C to employees is Jan. 31, 2018.  The deadline to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS is Feb. 28, 2018 if filing paper forms, and April 2, 2018, if filing electronically.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

Posted in ACA, Blog, Compliance, Featured

Erin Maxwell

by Erin Maxwell


Author Bio: As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Erin Maxwell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, focusing on health and employee benefits laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. She previously served as assistant general counsel at Asset Servicing Group in Oklahoma City. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, Maxwell enjoys politics, historical mysteries and spending time with her family.

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