2015 is the first year many employers MUST file Form 1095, so businesses are bound to make some mistakes this initial time through in meeting the ACA-related requirement. Greatland Corporation has compiled a list of the top errors that businesses are likely to make this year and offer suggestions on how to avoid these in order to avoid penalties from the IRS.
Not Filing Or Forgetting To File:
Because this is the first year it is mandatory to file Form 1095, many businesses may not even be aware that they need to file. This could lead to confusion for employers and force businesses to pay fines that could have easily been avoided. To see if your business needs to file forms for ACA this year, visit the decision tree created by Greatland to help answer the question “Do I need to file?”
The requirements for ACA filing are two-fold: file Form 1095 to the IRS and send copies to recipients or full-time and full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. It is important to note both of these mandates this year for ACA filing, as failing to complete each step could result in penalties.
Not Filing on Time:
Incorrect filings will not be penalized for calendar year 2015 filing (reported in 2016) if employers/insurers file on time and make a good faith effort to comply. However, businesses should still take note of deadlines for the 2016 filing season (reported in 2017), as penalties will be enforced at that time. Deadlines are as follows:
- March 31, 2016: Form 1095 copies to recipients/employees
- May 31, 2016: Paper copies of Form 1095 to IRS
- June 30, 2016: E-file Form 1095 to IRS
Not Safegaurding Employee Data:
Unlike previous tax seasons, employers are now charged with tracking and providing private healthcare information to the IRS regarding employees and their dependents. Businesses must proceed with extreme caution, because not only are they responsible for sensitive employee information, but now are accountable for information pertaining to spouses or children.
The key to success in any situation is to have a plan and to execute it efficiently. If businesses do not start educating themselves on the new requirements and lining up solutions for year-end reporting, it could derail other major business objectives come January. The key for success in this situation is to find a solution early, organize necessary data and become familiar with ACA reporting guidelines.