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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Form 1095-C, Line 16 Explained

What you need to know.

We just talked about how important line 14 is to complete Form 1095-C and now we get to tell you all about line 16 and its very own set of codes!

Form 1095-C, Line 16
So, like we said, line 14 takes care of telling the IRS what type of coverage you offered. Line 16 is there to explain further about your choice of code for line 14. So if there were any safe harbor situations you were eligible for or and other circumstances applied, Code Series 2 indicates that on line 16.

Tax Year 2016 Code Changes
Since code 2I of Code Series 2 only applied to safe harbor received in 2015, it is no longer available for 2016 filing. This means you won’t be able to use code 2I on line 16 on your future ACA forms (including the ones for this year).

Code Series 2
And so you’re armed with all the knowledge you need to complete line 16, here are the codes you’ll choose from when completing it:
  • -Code 2A
    • -Use if the employee was not employed during that month.
    • -Do not use if the employee worked even one day that month.
    • -Do not use for the month an employee was terminated.
  • -Code 2B
    • -Use if the employee was not a full-time employee during that month.
    • -Use if the employee was not full-time and did not enroll in coverage.
    • -Use if the employee was a full-time employee and their coverage ended only because the employee terminated employment.
  • -Code 2C
    • -Use if the employee enrolled in the coverage offered.
    • -Do not use if code 1G is used in line 14.
    • -Do not use if the coverage offered did not meet minimum essential coverage.
    • -Do not use for months terminated employees are enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage.
  • -Code 2D
    • -Use if the employee was in a section 4980H(b) Limited Non-Assessment Period that month.
    • -Use if the employee was in an initial measurement period that month.
  • -Code 2E
    • -Use for any month the multiemployer arrangement interim guidance applies.
    • -Use in place of any other code in Code Series 2 that may apply.
  • -Code 2F
    • -Use if section 4980H Form W-2 safe harbor was used to determine affordability for the employee.
    • -Code 2F must be used for all 12 months.
  • -Code 2G
    • -Use if section 4980H federal poverty line safe harbor was used to determine affordability for the employee.
  • -Code 2H
    • -Use if section 4980H rate of pay safe harbor was used to determine affordability for the employee.

Stay tuned with ACAwise for everything you need to complete your ACA reporting quickly, easily, and securely!

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Form 1095-C, Line 14 Explained

What you need to know.

When you’re completing Form 1095-C - whether for your own business or a client’s - it’s important to know what you’re in for. And just to get you prepared, line 14 is a pretty important one.

Form 1095-C, Line 14
You know how when you were coming up with health insurance coverage to offer your employees, you had to make sure it met Affordable Care Act guidelines regarding minimum essential coverage (MEC), minimum value (MV), and dependent coverage? Well, line 14 is where you get to show off you did that!

In line 14, you use a specific code for each month (or all 12 months!) that comes from the ACA Code Series 1. This code will tell the IRS if the coverage you offered met all necessary requirements.

Tax Year 2016 Code Changes
Things are a little different for Code Series 1 and, therefore, line 14 this year. For those of you keeping track of the differences between the 2015 and 2016 filing codes, code 1I was removed and codes 1J and 1K were added to include more coverage options.

Code Series 1
And, without further ado, here are the codes you can expect to choose from on your 2016 1095-C Forms:
  • -Use code 1A if you made a Qualifying Offer to the employee and their spouse and dependent(s), if any. A Qualifying Offer provides MEC at MV and the Employee Required Contribution is no more than 9.5% of the mainland single federal poverty line, as adjusted.
  • -Use code 1B if you offered MEC at MV to the employee only.
  • -Use code 1C if you offered MEC at MV to the employee and their dependent(s) but not their spouse.
  • -Use code 1D if you offered MEC at MV to the employee and their spouse but not their dependent(s).
  • -Use code 1E if you offered MEC at MV to the employee as well as their spouse and dependent(s).
  • -Use code 1F if you offered MEC that did not meet MV to the employee, spouse, dependent(s), or any combination of the three.
  • -Use code 1G if you offered MEC for at least one month to a non-employee or a part-time employee. Keep in mind that code 1G must be used for all twelve months.
  • -Use code 1H if you didn’t offer coverage to the employee.
  • -Use code 1J if you offered MEC at MV to the employee and conditionally to their spouse but not to their dependent(s).
  • -Use code 1K if you offered MEC at MV to the employee and their dependent(s) and conditionally offered it to their spouse.

Don’t forget to check out our next blog post on line 16 and the second set of codes you’ll need to complete Form 1095-C!

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Monday, December 12, 2016

DIY vs. Full-Service E-filing: The ACAwise Difference

Do it yourself or let us help - how will YOU file?

Don’t let the Affordable Care Act’s uncertain future lull you into a false sense of security: filing for the 2016 tax year in early 2017 is very much still on. As in, you’re still likely to incur some serious fines if you don’t file.

So now that you know you have to file, how will you?

The Completely DIY Way
Well, you could file your return all by yourself. Surrounded by stacks of paper forms, filling them out one by one, before you take everything to a nearby IRS office (if there even is one near you) to ensure you did everything correctly.

Once you finally get to talk to someone at the IRS office - because, remember, the IRS is never not busy - they’ll help make sure your return has been filled out correctly but have no way to determine if the personal data you’ve collected on your employees (like their social security numbers) is accurate. And, remember, this past year one of the main causes of ACA form rejections was because of mismatched taxpayer identification numbers (TIN), like SSNs.

Once you’ve finished up at the IRS office, it’s time to head on over to the post office to mail all those IRS and recipient copies of your 1094 and 1095 Forms. And after you’ve mailed them, you’ll have to wait a while - a few weeks at least - to hear back that your return was accepted or rejected.

The ACAwise DIY Way
If you've finished your 1094 and 1095 Forms but don't want to deal with the crowds at the IRS office or the uncertainty of the post office, you can DIY e-file with ACAwise!

ACAwise is an IRS-authorized, cloud-based solution for applicable large employers and third-party administrators who need to file ACA compliance Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C.

If you already have completed PDFs of your ACA Forms, you can use ACAwise to e-file your forms directly with the IRS through our secure e-filing system. Simply upload your forms, review that everything looks okay, and transmit.

The ACAwise Full-Service Way
So, yeah, you could DIY your way through your ACA filing, or you can go big with full-service e-filing from ACAwise.

With Full-Service ACAwise, all you need to do to e-file your forms is input the personnel and health benefits details you already have, however you already have them, and we’ll take it from there.

We’ll generate the ACA codes necessary for your forms with the information you provide and input the rest of the information to completely create each form of your return. Then, we’ll send that data through a few error checks, like an IRS business rules validation.

Once your forms are nice and ready, we’ll let you know so you can review them before securely e-filing them directly with the IRS.

And when we say “full-service,” we mean FULL service: in addition to e-filing your forms with the IRS, we’ll also mail your recipient forms for you! Just indicate before you e-file that you’d like to include our postal mailing feature in your order, and we’ll print and mail them out by the next business day.

And if you have any questions at any point in your ACAwise process, we’re here to help! We offer free, round-the-clock customer support from right here in South Carolina, USA. You can give us a call (704-954-8420) or send us a live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, or send us an email anytime to support@ACAwise.com!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Complete Your Year-End Filing with ACAwise

How to Complete Your Year-End Filing with ACAwise
You won't believe how easy it is!

The year is beginning to draw to a close and you know what that means: it’s time to start preparing to file those Affordable Care Act Forms 1094 and 1095.

And there’s nowhere easier to file than right here with ACAwise!

First, if you’d like, we’ll start you off with a free demo of our program with one of our knowledgeable product managers so you can learn all the ins and outs of everything ACAwise can do. This’ll also give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your filing or our program so you’re confident moving forward with the ACAwise process.

Once you’ve had your demo and your account has been set up, you’ll start by entering in the basic information of the employer(s) for whom you’re filing. Whether you’re an ALE and you’re just filing for yourself or your a third-party administrator filing for multiple employers, you can complete your ACA e-filing through ACAwise.

After all of your employer information is in, all you have to do next is upload their (or your) employee data in whatever file format it’s currently in! Once the employee information needed to complete your ACA Forms is input, ACAwise gets to work generating the ACA Forms 1094 and 1095.

Of course, if you've already gotten a head start and done it yourself, you can upload your completed 1094 and 1095 PDFs to e-file straight to the IRS!

Otherwise, while you sit back and relax, ACAwise will generate your IRS-authorized ACA Forms. Once they’re done, you review them and securely send them along to the IRS.

And before you e-file, you even have the option to add on postal mailing to your order! With postal mailing, we go a step further and take care of your employee/recipient copies for you. When you e-file, we’ll get the alert that you selected postal mailing, and begin printing and mailing your forms out by the next business day. They go out through the US Postal Service from our headquarters here in South Carolina, so your recipients should receive them within a few days after you e-file!

If you have any other questions about getting started and e-filing with ACAwise, we’d be happy to answer them! We’re available by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, and we provide 24/7 assistance through support@acawise.com.

Let us help make your 2016 ACA filing as easy as possible!


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Monday, December 5, 2016

2016 ACA Reporting Changes

2016 ACA Reporting Changes
Are you ready?

Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about your 2016 ACA reporting as well as start making any changes needed to keep you compliant as we go into 2017!

But not everything’s going to be just as it was last year this time around. Even before the results of the election all but guaranteed the Affordable Care Act would face some serious scrutiny and changes in the upcoming months, there were changes already in place for the 2016 filing year.

And since we’re operating in a land where the ACA is still law, it’s up to us to help make sure you’re aware of these changes and are ready to file this coming January.

2016 Tax Year ACA Changes
First things first, two types of transition relief available in 2015 have changed for the 2016 tax year:
  • -The Qualifying Offer Method Transition Relief, which was only available in 2015 for non-calendar year plans, is no longer available for the 2016 tax year.
  • -The 4980H Transition Relief, which applied to employers who offered 70% of their full-time employees coverage, has been updated to only apply to employers who offered 95% of their full-time employees coverage in 2016.
These transition relief changes may affect your answer on Form 1094-C, line 22.

Keeping in theme with the form changes, there are also a few code changes to lines 14 and 16 of Form 1095-C for the 2016 tax year:
  • -Code 1I won’t be used anymore and codes 1J and 1K have been added to include more scenarios for line 14.
  • -Code 2I won’t be able to be used anymore on line 16.

Now for compliance. As you may have already picked up when we mentioned the 4980H Transition Relief, employers who were required to offer qualified coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in order to remain compliant in 2015 will need to up the ante: to 95% of their full-time employees. That is if you want to avoid that fine.

And speaking of that fine, it’s going up too. The annual penalty amounts for 2016 Play or Pay mandate failures have increased to $3,240 for sledgehammer penalties and $2,160 for tack hammer penalties.

The IRS isn't all mean, though: they're giving you an extra month to send out your employee/recipient copies of Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C. Initially, these forms were due out to your recipients by January 31, 2017, but now, they need to be mailed by March 2, 2017.

Of Course, ACAwise is Here to Help
ACAwise is a unique ACA solution in that we’re built to handle the ACA changes as they come! Since everything is backed by our IRS business rules validation process, you can be sure your data and forms are as compliant as possible. To learn more, just visit our website (or) set up a free, live demo with one of our friendly support team experts!


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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why the ACA Made Employer Mandates

ACA Made Employer Mandates
It might not be why you think...

We’ve spoken in-depth before about the employer mandates that were put forth by the Affordable Care Act. But just to give you a refresher, these mandates basically say:
  1. 1. That applicable large employers (ALEs) with 50 or more full-time employees must offer those employees health insurance or pay a per-employee fine,
  2. 2. That the health care coverage offered must meet minimum essential coverage (MEC) at a set minimum value
  3. 3. That the coverage must be offered to full-time equivalent employees as well as actual full-time employees, and
  4. 4. That the coverage must cover the employee’s dependent(s) up to age 26, if applicable.

But one of the big things a lot of employers are wondering when it comes to these mandates is: why? Why should employers have to take on new expenses and potentially change their whole benefits plan(s) because the ACA says so?

Well, one “why” is because you’ll have to pay some pretty big fines if you don’t.

Another bigger, main-er reason why is because the whole point of enacting the Affordable Care Act was to ensure all taxpayers in the US have access to affordable health care coverage. Since most employers already provide some health benefits to their employees, making it so that the coverage they offer meets certain requirements seemed like a logical step.

Since the writers of the Affordable Care Act saw where this could be financially hurtful to the employers, they included safe harbor relief options, which make the transition into these new changes easier for employers.



Be sure to stay tuned with ACAwise and our future blog posts to get the most up-to-date ACA information around! And while you’re at it, why not request a free demo from one of our knowledgeable product managers to help get you set up with ACAwise and prepare for the upcoming ACA filing? We’re available by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST and by email 24/7 at support@ACAwise.com.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What is Minimum Essential Coverage?

Minimum Essential Coverage
It's time to find out!

In our last post, we very briefly went over minimum essential coverage while talking minimum value as it pertains to the health insurance coverage you offer employees or clients. Today, we’re going to go more in-depth with MEC to ensure your questions are answered!

What is Minimum Essential Coverage?
Minimum essential coverage (MEC), sometimes called “qualifying health coverage,” refers to health care coverage that meets all minimum requirements to be considered compliant with the Affordable Care Act. All taxpayers are required to have health insurance that meets MEC, so employers, insurance carriers, and other providers of health care coverage have a serious obligation to offer it.

“Serious obligation” as in, “Provide it, or be prepared to pay a lot of money to the IRS.”

Types of Minimum Essential Coverage
As a general rule of thumb, these types of health insurance meet MEC requirements:
  • Employer-sponsored coverage that includes COBRA and retiree continuation coverage
  • Coverage that comes from the Health Insurance Marketplace/Affordable Insurance Exchange
  • Medicare Part A coverage
  • Most coverage from Medicaid
  • Coverage from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Certain coverage administered by the Veterans Administration
  • TRICARE coverage
  • Coverage provided through the Peace Corps
  • Coverage provided through non-appropriated Fund Health Benefit Program
  • Refugee Medical Assistance supported by the Administration for Children and Families

If this didn’t answer all of your questions, or if you’re ready to report your MEC to the IRS, check out ACAwise! We’re here to help you e-file Forms 1094 and 1095 and do our best to answer any ACA compliance and e-filing questions you may have! We’re available Monday through Friday by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. We also provide 24/7 email assistance at support@ACAwise.com.


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Monday, November 21, 2016

What is Minimum Value?

What is Minimum Value?
And why does it matter?

If you’re working to determine the type of coverage you should be providing to your employees and recipients under the Affordable Care Act, you've probably come across two very important phrases: minimum essential coverage (MEC) and minimum value.

Minimum essential coverage is pretty straightforward: it’s the minimum amount of coverage your plan must offer to be considered ACA compliant.

The thing is, this minimum essential coverage must also be provided at a minimum value. So hold onto your hats because now we’re going to dive into exactly what that means.

What is Minimum Value?
Minimum value, at its heart, is a standard of minimum coverage that applies to the health plan(s) you offer. A health plan is considered to have met the minimum value requirement if:
  • It pays at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population and
  • Its benefits include substantial coverage of physician and inpatient hospital services.
If the coverage you offer meets these requirements as well as MEC, you’re considered compliant in the eyes of the Affordable Care Act.

Reporting Minimum Value
The second part of offering coverage that meets MEC and the minimum value is reporting it! And ACAwise can help you do that quickly, easily , and securely!

Just head on over to our site for more info about setting up a free demo (or) creating your account to start e-filing your 1094 and 1095 forms.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

ACA Explained: Measurement Periods

ACA Explained: Measurement Periods

When you look at the basics of one of the major parts of the Affordable Care Act, it seems pretty simple: Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) must provide healthcare coverage to their full-time employees and ALEs are employers with fifty or more full-time employees.

That’s not complicated, right? Just round up your employee data, count it up, if you have more than 50, get to work; if you have less than 50, explore your other options.

Except, of course it’s not that easy. While many employees may work the standard 9-5, 30+ hours per week, full-time gig, there are plenty of others who may work less conventional hours but still meet the qualifications for full-time.

Employees like adjunct faculty, those who work layover hours (like airline industry employees), and on-call employees present an entirely separate dilemma for employers trying to stay compliant with the ACA.

While for regular full-time employees you’re able to use a measurement method to determine their full-time status, the IRS gives employers a full year to determine whether or not a variable hour employee averages 30+ hours of work each week. This time is known as the measurement period.

If, during this measurement period, an employee exceeds the 30 hours/week average, you must make an appropriate offer of coverage to that employee. The coverage must go into effect within 90 days of acceptance and be available for a full 12 months, even if the employee’s hours worked drop back below 30 hours/week.

Since your variable hour employees need to qualify for offers of coverage each year, it’s recommended that employers set measurement periods to start about 90 days before the annual renewal date. So if your company’s renewal date is January 1, a measurement period lasting from October 1 to September 30 of the year before would fulfill this recommendation. Setting your measurement period this way will also make it easier when it comes time to hand out offers of coverage since you’ll just have the one open enrollment period.


ACAwise is equipped to help you determine your employees’ statuses and when it’s time to make offers of coverage. It’s an all-in-one compliance tracking and e-filing program designed to keep you compliant throughout the entire year. To learn more, visit our website or request a free, live demo with the ACAwise team!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

The Next ACA Reporting Deadline

ACA Reporting Deadline

For those of you who thought a Trump presidency would get you out of the upcoming Affordable Care Act filing, maybe don’t bank too much on that one.

You see, this past year, we got a bit of a break as far as filing deadlines went. Since the forms were new and everyone (the IRS included) was having to make serious adjustments to be compliant and complete them, the IRS extended each filing deadline by a few months. This year, we won’t be so lucky.

Even if President-Elect Trump makes good on his promise that the first thing he’ll do Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017) is take steps to repeal, it could very well take longer than he (or we) initially thought. Which isn’t good for those of you putting off getting your ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 together.

January 31, 2017, just eleven days after the inauguration, is the first deadline for the 2016 ACA return forms. January 31 is the date by which you’ll need to mail your employee/recipient copies of Form 1095-B or 1095-C. And if you’re an ALE with hundreds of employees or a third party service provider with hundreds of EINs - and therefore thousands of employees/recipients - that’s a lot of forms to get done in such a short amount of time.

And not long after come the next two deadlines: February 28, 2017, the paper filing deadline for Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS, and March 31, 2017, the e-filing deadline.

We think you’d probably rather meet these deadlines head-on with preparedness and accuracy than scramble to meet them, fumbling paperwork and incurring fines. We know we would anyway.

That’s why ACAwise is here to help! We use the payroll and benefits data you already have in place to track compliance and e-file your ACA forms each year. With your information, we’re able to automatically generate the ACA codes needed to, in turn, generate your ACA Forms 1094 and 1095. Then all you have to do is review them and send them off securely to the IRS.

We’ll even provide a little extra help for that big first deadline on January 31: select the postal mailing option before you e-file your return, and we’ll print out your recipient copies and mail them out by the next business day from our headquarters here in Rock Hill, South Carolina. How’s that for easy?

To learn more about ACAwise or set up a free demo to help you get started, contact one of our superb account managers by phone (704-954-8420), email (support@ACAwise.come), or live chat!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stay Compliant: Beware of These ACA Penalties

Stay Compliant: Beware of These ACA Penalties

A big part of staying compliant with the Affordable Care Act is reporting the coverage you offer with the IRS on Forms 1094 and 1095. After all, if you don’t report that you offered coverage that met minimum essential coverage and value to your full-time employees, how will they know you did?

So not only can not reporting get you in hot water for not covering your full-time employees, it can also incur you some penalties of its own. Even if you did offer adequate coverage, if you don’t report it, you could pay up to $260 per each return not filed. Of course, this penalty can’t exceed $3,193,000 per year, but who has that just lying around?

Oh, and the same penalties apply to the employee copies if you don’t send those out either. And if you don’t have $3,193,000 lying around, are you likely to have $6,386,000 ready to send to the IRS? Didn’t think so.

Now, these penalties could be waived, you’d just need to prove the failure to file was due to reasonable cause (think life-or-death situation) rather than willful neglect.

ACAwise is here to help make sure you’re not at risk for any reporting penalties. We automatically generate your ACA codes and everything needed to complete ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 based on the information you provide. So when it comes time to e-file your forms, all you have to do is review and hit send! Then your forms are instantly processed and sent off for filing with the IRS.

We’ll even mail out your recipient copies! Just select the postal mail option before you transmit your forms and we’ll print them out and mail them from our headquarters in South Carolina by the next business day.

And if you have any questions regarding penalties, ACA filing, or getting started with ACAwise, just give us a call! We’d be happy to set up a free demo to help you learn the program before setting you up with your very own account.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

ACA Explained: Waiting Periods

Affordable Care Act - Waiting Periods

When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it stated that full-time employees must be offered health insurance coverage that meets minimum essential coverage and value no later than the ninetieth (90th) calendar day after the employee meets the plan eligibility requirements.

This 90-day period is known by the ACA as a waiting period. And since the ACA falls under the section of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), if your waiting period does not meet ACA requirements, your employee(s) can sue you for being in violation of the statute.

And to keep you from having to hire a lawyer to interpret the jargon in the ACA, here are those waiting period requirements, in layman's terms:
  • - Your plan can state that employees are eligible for coverage only after 1,200 cumulative hours of service, at which point your 90-day waiting period can be applied.
  • - Your plan can also state that your employees must work a minimum number of hours during the 90-day waiting period. You can also limit coverage to specific job classifications or require licensure.
  • - If your plan has an hours-based eligibility requirement, but the plan cannot determine whether an employee meets this hours requirement, that employee can be considered a variable hour employee and you can use specific voluntary safe harbors to determine if they’re eligible for coverage. 
  • - Your plan can apply different rules for different groups of employees, i.e.:
    • - Collectively bargained and non-bargained
    • - Salaried versus hourly
    • - Those employed in different locations/states

Did you know that ACAwise can help you keep track of your employees in waiting periods and alert you when it’s time to make them offers of coverage? Cause it can! That, plus create and e-file your 1094 and 1095 forms that are required to be filed with the IRS in the next few months. Sign up today for a free demo or create an account to get started entering in your employee and health coverage info for 2017!
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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How ACAwise Helps Third Party Admins Meet ACA Compliance Needs

Third Party Admins Meet ACA Compliance Needs

When we created ACAwise, we wanted to make a program that worked for everyone who needs to handle ACA compliance and reporting. Of course, we had Applicable Large Employers in mind, but we also had in mind the service providers those ALEs would search out.

Since most ALEs already have a system in place that handles their payroll and benefits and since some employers with self-insured plans won’t file their 1095s anyway, we knew there had to be a solution for third party administrators who would be managing and filing ACA compliance for other businesses.

Enter: ACAwise!

When you sign up for ACAwise as a third party administrator, you have access to our White Label Solution at no additional cost. It comes with the features you need, like multi-user access and multi-client capabilities, and has the ability to run various reports so you can confirm each client’s compliance. White Label accounts also come with a customized version of ACAwise built exclusively for you to market to your clients.

ACAwise’s simplified workflow in the multi-dashboard, cloud-based program helps you manage compliance for any number of clients. Real-time reports and alerts let you know if anyone’s at risk for an IRS penalty, and the ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 you need to file for your clients are automatically generated at the end of each year based on the information you’ve already entered.

So, as you can see, ACAwise is firing all cylinders to make sure you’re able to handle your clients’ ACA compliance and reporting with ease. Contact us today for a free demo of the program or to sign on up!


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Monday, October 31, 2016

ACA Explained: Stability Periods

ACA - Stability Periods

Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) who have a significant amount of variable employees face special challenges under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibilities. In order to make sure they’re ACA compliant and can adequately determine who needs to be offered health coverage, ALEs with a workforce of hourly workers or workers without a set weekly schedule need to implement measurement and stability periods.

Choose Your Measurement Period Length
For this one, most employers are going to choose a 12-month look-back method for a few reasons:
  • Longer measurements periods lead to lower average hours by week and level out periods of high volume and scheduling.
  • They also give employers an opportunity to manage their workforce in terms of scheduling if they trend higher average hours.
Employers can choose a shorter measurement period.This helps to more aggressively account for the fluctuation in hours variable employees have. Shorter measurement periods also allow employers to manage benefits costs with industry-relevant time periods, like school semesters in education fields, tax season in accounting fields, and harvesting time in the farming industry.

Choose Your Stability Period Length
When choosing your stability period, keep in mind that it needs to align with your medical plan or health insurance annual open enrollment and plan year. This eases your administrative burden and ensures your cost projections are in line with the premium cost increases and decreases at the Exchange level.
Determine Your Administrative Period Length
Your administrative period cannot be any longer than 90 days, so depending on your measurement period, your administrative period will likely be between 30-60 days. If you don’t have an administrative period, you risk retro enrollments and may need to collect back premiums.

Calculate and Repeat
Once your periods are set, your data collection for assessing service hours over your measurement period can begin. If you get overwhelmed by all the spreadsheets and data that’s required to be manually analyzed for your ACA compliance on a regular basis, ask for a demo with ACAwise! Our software not only e-files your ACA reporting, it also monitors and measures your employees during the periods you set up to ensure your ACA compliance all year long.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ACA Explained: Determining Employee Affordability

ACA - Determining Employee Affordability

We’ve talked about how important it is that the health insurance you offer your employees meets minimum essential coverage and value. One of the key components in making sure it meets these requirements is that it’s affordable.

The law is called the Affordable Care Act, after all.

So how exactly do you determine the affordability of the coverage you offer? Well, according to the IRS, it should cost the employee no more than 9.5% of their annual household income. But it’s unlikely that you know the household income of all of your employees - you’ve got a lot on your plate as it is. Luckily, you’ve come to the right blog!

The IRS allows three optional safe harbors for employers to use to determine coverage affordability to help keep in line with the employer shared responsibility provisions. You can choose to use one or more of the safe harbors for all of your employees, provided you do so on a uniform and consistent basis for all employees.

The Form W-2 Wages Safe Harbor
This form of safe harbor is based on the amount of wages paid to each employee. The employee’s wages are determined using Box 1 of that employee’s Form W-2.

The Rate of Pay Safe Harbor
The rate of pay is based on the employee’s rate of pay at the beginning of the coverage period. Adjustments are permitted for hourly employees if the rate of pay is decreased but not if it’s increased.

The Federal Poverty Line Safe Harbor
This safe harbor treats coverage as affordable if the employee contribution for the year does not exceed 9.5% of the federal poverty line for a single individual for the applicable year.

You can use these safe harbors to determine affordability and more with ACAwise! It’s the complete solution for ACA compliance management and e-filing. Schedule a demo with us or sign up today!


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Monday, October 24, 2016

Are You Ready for Section 6055 and 6056 Reporting?

Are You Ready for Section 6055 and 6056 Reporting?

Whether or not you were a boy scout growing up, their lifestyle of always being prepared is handy to adopt and apply to your own life, especially when it comes to the IRS.

Beginning January 1st last year, it became a requirement for certain employers to maintain detailed information about the health care coverage they offer to their employees. This is due to regulations published under the IRS’s Internal Revenue Code, Sections 6055 and 6056.

Section 6055 & 6056 Requirements
IRS Code Section 6055:
  • - Employers with self-funded plans and insurers who manage fully insured plans must report information about the organization providing coverage.
  • - This includes company contact information as well as a detailed list of employees that shows the months each was covered during the calendar year.
IRS Code Section 6056:
  • - Employers must report information about the employer offering coverage.
  • - This information includes a list of full-time employees and the coverage offered to them each month, as well as the cost of coverage.
  • - Employers are also required to provide information about the employee’s covered dependents.

Reporting Requirements
All employers who are considered Applicable Large Employers (those with more than 50 full-time employees) have to file the information required in Sections 6055 and 6056 with the IRS each year. The IRS’s general requirements surrounding reporting include:
  • -Detailed information of each employee - name, address, and Social Security Number - for each calendar month
  • -The total number of full-time employees
  • -Whether or not the coverage offered to each employee met Minimum Essential Coverage and Minimum Value
  • -Whether or not the coverage offered was affordable, and how much each employee was required to pay
  • -Whether or not the coverage was offered to all full-time employees and their dependents

Start Planning Now
We’ve already had a taste of IRS ACA filing this year with the 2015 reporting. However, with shorter deadlines and fewer Safe Harbor lifelines, 2016 reporting stands to be more stressful. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place well ahead of time for handling your ACA compliance.

This is where ACAwise comes in: ACAwise is an all-in-one solution for employers and third party providers alike. With ACAwise, you can track and manage your compliance throughout the year. Then, to ensure your return is filed on time, it automatically creates Forms 1094 and 1095 in accordance with the data you provide and the IRS’s ACA regulations found in Sections 6055 and 6056.

Head on over to ACAwise, an ACA compliance software today to schedule your free demo and get started for your 2016 filing!


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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to Determine Employee Eligibility for Health Coverage

How to Determine Employee Eligibility for Health Coverage?

We’ve already talked a bit lately about the employer shared responsibilities that are now required thanks to the new Affordable Care Act provisions. Because of new rules like the Play or Pay Mandate, certain employers have to provide health insurance coverage to at least 95% of their full-time employees or make an employer shared responsibility payment.

Since it’s important to follow these rules and regulations to a tee, you’ll want to make sure that you and the IRS are on the same page concerning your employees who are eligible to receive health insurance offers.

For starters, the IRS considers 30+ hours a week (or 130+ hours in a month) to be full-time. If you were only going to look at your 40+ hour a week, you’d already be off on the wrong foot.

The IRS also expects you to include hours for which the employee is entitled to payment but no job duties are performed - in addition to the normal service hours they put in for the business - in their total hours to determine full-time status. These include hours like:
  • - Paid Family and Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA)
  • - Vacation days
  • - Sick days
  • - Military leave
  • - Days off for jury duty
And just as there are hours the IRS thinks you should include (see above), there are hours the IRS does not consider hours of service. So time spent volunteering, in a work study program (like an internship), or earning foreign-sourced income doesn’t need to be included in your total tally.

So now that you know all of the hours to consider, there are three ways to determine an employee’s eligibility for an offer of health insurance coverage:
  • 1. You can total up the actual hours of service each month for each employee (which may get a little difficult with the salaried employees).
  • 2. You can total up the number of days each month each employee did at least eight (8) hours of work.
  • 3. You can total up the number of weeks each month the employee did 30 hours of work.

And, of course, there are some conditions with whichever method you choose:
  • - Pick a method and stick to it for the entire year. You’re not allowed to switch it up and change methods until next year’s reporting.
  • - Methods 2 and 3 can be used to classify your salaried employees, you’ll just need to keep the classifications consistent.
  • - You cannot use Methods 2 or 3 if their results understate the employee’s hours and bring them below the full-time employee hour minimum.

Stay tuned with ACAwise, an  ACA reporting software for more ACA wisdom and know-how. And be sure to sign up for a free demo or account so when it’s time to report the coverage you offered to your full-time employees, you’ll be ready to easily and securely e-file Forms 1094 and 1095 to the IRS!


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Monday, October 17, 2016

ACA Management Software to Track Your Business's Health Care Reform

Track Your Business's Health Care Reform with ACA

We’ve been talking quite a bit about ACAwise and all the new and exciting features it’s bringing to the world of Affordable Care Act compliance and e-filing, but did you know that ACAwise is available now?

That’s right: we had our official unofficial launch just a little over a week ago, so now we’re just waiting for you!

Read our blogs and check out our website to learn more, but the best way to learn what ACAwise can do for you and your ACA compliance needs is to request a free demo and create your own ACAwise account.

Once you’re in your account, you’ll provide a little bit of information about the person filing the compliance returns (that’s you), the person for whom you’re filing compliance (which may still be you), and the people who received health insurance throughout the year. And all of this may vary a little bit, depending on whether you’re an ALE (Applicable Large Employer) or TPA (Third Party Administrator). This is why every ACAwise account is customized to the account owner’s needs, and why you should request your account sooner rather than later!

As you may already know, the ACA deadline for Forms 1094 and 1095 is back to its regularly scheduled March 31 (for e-filers) this year. And since we’re one of the few people who do what we do (and at the competitive prices we do!), we’re anticipating things will only get busier from here. Get ahead of the crowd and request a demo today.

We’ve got personal account managers standing by to custom-create your account as well as answer any questions you may have! To request a demo, go here; to jump in and create an account, go here. And if you have any questions, call (704) 954-8420 or send an email to support@ACAwise.com.

Related Blog: The Future of ACA Compliance Management Has Arrived


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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Challenges Employers Face Under the Affordable Care Act

Challenges Employers Face Under the ACA

Running a business is no piece of cake. Even before the Affordable Care Act, each day had its own unique challenges that needed to be addressed. Now that the ACA has passed and we’re all subject to it, there are even more challenges employers face to remain compliant.

Challenge #1: To Play or Pay
We touched on this new mandate of a challenge last week, but to catch you back up to speed, employers basically have two options: to play along with the new ACA regulations and offer health insurance coverage to their full-time employees or pay a per-employee fine on their IRS return.

So employers have to decide, would it be more worth it, in the end, to provide health insurance for their employees all year or pay the $2000 per employee fine to the IRS?

Challenge #2: Determining Eligibility
There are a lot of questions employers need to answer when going over the ACA eligibility requirements, which include variables that affect employee populations and demographics differently. Some key questions to mull over before you dive into your ACA compliance are:

Challenge #3: IRS Reporting
And just when you get through challenges one and two, there’s challenge three: reporting ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 to the IRS. A lot of employers are worried about how this reporting will go down: who’s going to do it? And how much will it cost??

Well, worry no more, because this is where we can offer some relief! ACAwise is an all-in-one compliance management and e-filing cloud-based software. It’s designed to work with the information you already have, so set-up’s a breeze. Once your employees’ data is in the secure ACAwise system, the program tracks the data against IRS-issued business rules and regulations to ensure your compliance.

Then, when the IRS is ready to begin accepting Forms 1094 and 1095 via e-file (usually early January), ACAwise will create your ACA return for you! All you have to do is review and approve the forms and we’ll securely e-file them straight to the IRS at a fraction of the cost of our competitors. We even have a nifty postal mailing feature where you have us send out your recipient copies of Form 1095 for you! They leave our South Carolina-based headquarters by the next business day after you e-file.

Head on over to ACAwise now to request a demo and set up your very own account!

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Monday, October 10, 2016

The Basics of ACA Form 1095

Determine Employee Eligibility for Health Coverage

If you’re new to the ACA game, you may be wondering what all this talk about 1095 forms is. Even if you’re not, it’s been a while since we last filed them, so it’s probably about time for a refresher course.

So let’s dive right in, shall we?

What are the 1095 Forms?
When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it made it so that employers with 50 or more full-time employees were required to provide affordable health insurance that meets a set minimum coverage and value. Other providers of insurance were also affected as they now have to meet these same minimum requirements with the coverage they offer.

But what’s that got to do with the 1095 forms, you ask? Well, in order to make sure everyone - employers, insurance providers, and taxpayers alike - is compliant with the ACA, the IRS created Form 1095 to report the coverage offered throughout the year to each taxpayer.

Employers complete a Form 1095-C for every full-time employee who was offered coverage throughout the year, and other insurance carriers must file Form 1095-B for each recipient of coverage. Individual taxpayers who receive insurance from the Marketplace receive Form 1095-A to prove their coverage.

Filing Form 1095
When employers or insurance providers file Form 1095, they must file one copy with the IRS for compliance purposes and must send another copy to the coverage recipient so they can use it to file their personal tax return. It’s important to note, however, that the copy of Form 1095 sent to recipients is for their records and is not to be sent to the IRS along with their tax return.

Whichever Form 1095 is filed, a copy of Form 1094-B or C is sent to the IRS along with the complete 1095 return. Form 1094 can be seen as a cover sheet that summarizes the 1095 return it accompanies. Form 1094 does not need to be sent to the recipients of insurance, only to the IRS.

Complete Your 1095 Forms with ACAwise
ACAwise is an all-in-one ACA reporting software designed to track and monitor your ACA compliance all throughout the year. But one of the best parts is once it’s done all that, it then creates your 1095 and 1094 forms for you! Then you just review them and securely e-file them with the IRS. We’ll even throw in postal mailing, where we send your recipient copies of Form 1095 out for you from our headquarters in South Carolina!

Head on over to ACAwise.com now to request a demo or to get started creating your account!


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Friday, October 7, 2016

The Future of ACA Compliance Management Has Arrived

The Future of ACA Compliance Management has Arrived

That’s right folks, it’s official: alert the presses and sound the alarms, ACAwise is officially live!

Well, a lite version of ACAwise is live. With less than three months left in 2016, there’s only so much that can be done regarding compliance tracking and coverage offers that maybe should’ve been made already.

But don’t worry: all of that will be ready to go for 2017. In the meantime, you can sign up for an account to explore the program, learn more about ACA compliance software, and even begin preparing your ACA filing for next year.

And while you’re doing that, why don’t we tell you a bit about the recent history of ACAwise and its journey to today's launch.

The 2015 tax filing season earlier this year was the first time it became mandatory for ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 to be filed. ALEs and service providers alike were scrambling for secure, reliable e-filing. Even the deadline extensions the IRS instated didn’t seem like enough.

SPAN Enterprises, ACAwise’s parent company, did everything they could to provide the secure e-filing people needed. ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 were added to the ExpressIRSForms line-up, and ExpressACAForms was launched to transform any ACA data in any file format into e-file-able 1094 and 1095 Forms.

But we realized the filers needed more. There seemed to be established compliance programs, as well as established e-filing programs, but nothing that brought the two together in a simple and seamless solution. Believe it or not, with ACA and IRS regulations to follow, making that connection is a lot more complicated than it seems.

Thankfully, the research that went into developing ExpressACAForms and the experience from the 2015 ACA filing season gave us the edge when developing ACAwise. Now, not only is ACAwise a year-round, all-in-one compliance management program, it also comes with one of the most secure, reliable e-filing systems available. It’s the perfect solution to have with you as you go into 2016 ACA filing at the beginning of next year.

You can create an account today with ACAwise, so what are you waiting for? Get on over there and sign up! And if you have any questions in the meantime, our support staff is happy to help! Give us a call at (704) 954-8420 (or) send us an email to support@acawise.com.

Related Blog: Introducing ACAwise


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Monday, October 3, 2016

The Affordable Care Act Play or Pay Mandate

The Affordable Care Act Play or Pay Mandate

Remember going over those employer shared responsibility provisions last week? If not, we’ll give you a moment to refresh your memory because they come back into play today!

(*Jeopardy theme music*)

Play or Pay
So now that we’re all back on the same page, we remember that the ESR provisions require all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) to either provide affordable health insurance to a majority of their 50 or more full-time employees (or) pay a per-employee fee toward a publicly provided system that covers people without private insurance.

This choice - which, for some, is more of a catch-22 than it may seem at first - has become more colloquially known as the Play (or) Pay Mandate.

For the 2015 tax year, the Play or Pay Mandate only applied for ALEs with 100 or more full-time employees. For the 2016 tax year, which we’ll be filing in a few short months, the Play or Pay Mandate applies to all ALEs.

But You Do Have Another Choice
When it comes to the numbers, a lot of employers have been having difficulty deciding which is better: to play or pay? Employers do want to provide health benefits that are valuable to their employees, but they also want to provide it at a rate that’s beneficial for the cost. So what’s an employer to do?
  • - You can play and offer health insurance that meets minimum essential coverage and value to your full-time employees.
  • - You can pay and instead of offering health insurance to your employees you would pay a tax penalty.
  • - Or you can play differently. This is the middle ground option where you offer employees a health benefits allowance rather than choosing a group health insurance plan. So your employees would purchase their own policies, and you’d reimburse them for their policies, up to the amount of their allowance.
    • Fair warning: this option can still cause you to incur penalties if your health benefits allowance doesn’t meet coverage requirements.
So when you’re choosing what to do, compare the costs and benefits of these three options and see which works best for your business:
  • - Qualified, affordable group health insurance
  • - Premium reimbursement program and applicable penalties
  • - Penalties

Be sure to stay tuned for more ACA compliance and e-filing information, brought to you by ACAwise, the number one solution in ACA compliance and e-filing!


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Thursday, September 29, 2016

What You Need to Know About Employer Shared Responsibilities

What You Need to Know About Employer Shared Responsibilities

It’s been a while since our last ACAwise blog, so we figured we’d pick back up by diving right into one of the most important parts of the Affordable Care Act: the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions.

(Duh, duh, duuhhhh)

Just what are the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions?
According to the ACA’s Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provisions, certain employers must offer minimum essential coverage (MEC) of health insurance that’s considered affordable and provides minimum value to their full-time employees plus their dependents. As an employer, you can do this, or you can make an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS.

And which employers are subject to these provisions?
Those subject to the ESR provisions are employers with fifty or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalents). These employers are also known as Applicable Large Employers, or ALEs.

Do these provisions only apply to ALEs that are for-profit businesses?
No. Any employer can be considered an ALE, provided they meet the full-time employee quota mentioned above. This means even non-profit and tax-exempt organizations, as well as all government entities, are required to fulfill the ESR provisions.

What about businesses overseas? If I have employees working outside the US or employ US citizens working abroad, am I subject to the ESR provisions?
This question has a more general, this-probably-applies-to-your-situation type answer, so if you’re still unsure, contact a local IRS office or your CPA. Typically, determining whether or not you’re an ALE (and therefore required to meet the ESR provisions) will be based on your full-time employees who are US citizens and work in the US.

I just started my business this past year. How will I know if I employ enough people to be subject to the ESR provisions?
If your business wasn’t in existence throughout the entire year you’re reporting, you’ll only be considered an ALE and subject to provisions if, in the current year, you’re expecting to hire/employ an average of 50 or more full-time employees.

There’s a federally-facilitated exchange that’s been established on behalf of the state I do business in. Am I still subject to ESR provisions?
Yes, and this one’s important because those exchanges can cost you fines even if you do provide insurance to your employees. If one of your employees receives a premium tax credit from a marketplace or exchange (meaning the coverage they had that you offered didn’t meet MEC or minimum value), you could be liable for an Employer Shared Responsibility payment.

Yikes, all of this ESR provision talk has got me worried about my ACA compliance. Is there any way to guarantee my business is compliant?
While we can’t give a 100% guarantee your business is compliant (because, really, only the business owner can ensure that), ACAwise has everything to make sure you’re on the right track to getting and staying ACA compliant!

When you input your employee, benefits, and payroll details into our secure system, we’ll first run an error check to make sure everything looks in order as you’ve entered it. Then, throughout the year, with our state-of-the-art tracking and real-time notifications, you’ll be alerted when it’s time to make an offer of coverage and when you’re at risk of noncompliance.

We’ve even got a built-in, IRS-authorized e-filing system to ensure your compliance from offer of coverage to Form 1095 reporting.

If you’re interested in using ACAwise for your compliance and filing, give us a call or send a request, and we’ll get you started with a live, personalized demo!


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Be Sure to Avoid these ACA Late Filing Penalties

Avoid these ACA Late Filing Penalties
The Affordable Care Act 2015 filing deadline for those submitting their forms in the mail is only a week away: May 31, 2016. Forms should be postmarked and mailed by next Tuesday to the IRS. If you opt to e-file, you’ve got a month and a week left; the IRS e-filing deadline is June 30, 2016.

Now, for these 2015 tax period documents, the IRS has decided to waive any late or absent filing penalties for those who can show they made every effort to complete and submit the forms as required by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Next year you may not be so lucky.

Because Forms 1094 and 1095 are considered pretty important not only to the IRS, but also to your employees and, oh yeah, the US government, there will be a price to pay for not providing the information required of you. And that price could be upwards of $6 million (in just one year) if you’re not forthcoming with your forms.

Depending on when you do eventually file after the deadline, the IRS is authorized to charge up to $250 for each late or missing return, not to exceed $3 million per fiscal year. So, wait, where’d the other $3 mil come from? Your payee statements. If you don’t send those copies of Form 1095 out to your employees either, the IRS has the right to fine your business up to $250 for each of those - not to exceed $3 million - as well.

If you’ve still got a grudge over Obamacare, and it’s found that you’re intentionally disregarding your ACA reporting regulations, the IRS has rules in place that allow them to increase the per-statement or per-annual penalty caps.

So we say it’s probably best to just go with the IRS: learn the forms this year while the penalty waivers are in place so you can avoid any filing errors in the future. And make a note that the filing dates will be earlier in 2017 than they are this year, so you don’t miss anything important.

Or, you could just sign up with ACAwise; we’ll alert you when it’s time to file and if you’re at risk for receiving a penalty from the IRS for ACA compliance or filing reasons. Give us a call Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT, at (704) 954-8420 for more information.


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Friday, May 20, 2016

5 Ways ACAwise Works for You

5 Ways ACAwise Works for You
Now that you’ve had the chance to get to know ACAwise a little better, we can dive down into the real get-to-know-ya stuff. You know, like third date (or blog) level get-to-know-ya. This is our chance to show you that we’re not like the others, that we think we have something really special here and it’s time to take it to the next level and get exclusive (with your ACA compliance, that is).

But we get it: times have changed. We’re open to just being friends with benefits if that’s more your style. Heck, we’re even prepared for it; take a look at some of these amazing benefits we have to offer:

Secure, Cloud-Based ACA Management
There are literally no strings attached when it comes to your ACAwise account. Because our software is cloud-based, you can access your account from any computer or smartphone. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less secure than a downloadable program; in fact, we’ve taken every possible measure to ensure your account is safe and can’t be compromised.

Real-Time Data Tracking and Alerts
The Dashboards in your ACAwise account track the amount employees work in order to manage ACA compliance. When it’s time to make an offer of coverage to an employee, ACAwise will alert you; when you’re in danger of making an error with offered coverage or reporting, ACAwise will alert you. When the ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 are ready to be approved and transmitted to the IRS, you guessed it: ACAwise will let you know.

So maybe we’re a little clingier than “just friends” implies, but when it comes to ACA reporting, you want to be in the know as much (and as soon) as possible.

Seamless ACA Form Creation and E-filing
At the end of your fiscal year, ACAwise analyzes the data you’ve entered and creates Forms 1094 and 1095 for you. Once you okay the forms, they’re transmitted directly to the IRS for processing. When your forms go to the IRS, our support team in Rock Hill, South Carolina gets an alert to print the recipient copies of your 1095 Forms and mail them out by the next business day.

TIN Verification and Other Error Checks
ACAwise is one of very few ACA e-filing entities to have an automatic TIN verification process built into their system. What this means is that before the IRS ever sees what you report, ACAwise will double check the TINs you’ve entered (like any SSNs or EINs) to make sure they match up with what’s on record at the IRS. ACAwise puts your forms through a few other checks as well to make sure your forms are filed correctly the first time through.

An A+ Support Team
With ACAwise comes access to one of the best e-filing support teams in the nation. From the moment we custom create your account for you, and all throughout the year: we’re available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT, at (704) 954-8420. We also offer 24/7 support through our email, support@acawise.com.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Key Date Calendar for ACA Information Returns

Key Date Calendar for ACA Information Returns
One of the easiest ways to avoid errors and incurring penalties with your ACA forms is to give yourself enough time to complete your return by the filing deadline each year. So go ahead and pull out those calendars and mark down these dates, that way you’ll know when your ACA filing should be completed.

Filing in 2016
Filing for the 2015 year officially began earlier in January, and we’ve already passed one of the 2015 deadlines. ACA filers should have had copies of Forms 1095-B and 1095-C posted and mailed to their recipients/employees by March 31, 2016. Meanwhile, there are still two more deadlines just around the corner:
  • May 31, 2016, is the IRS paper filing deadline for 2015 ACA Forms 1094 and 1095.
  • June 30, 2016, is the IRS e-filing deadline for 2015 ACA Forms 1094 and 1095.

Filing in 2017 (And Beyond)
The filing deadlines in future years look a little different than 2016. In December of 2015, the IRS announced they were extending the official ACA deadlines for 2016 so filers could take the time to learn the forms and submit them without errors. Since they figure you’ll have gotten the hang of it after one year, the deadlines are going back to their initial days in 2017 and will remain that way for future years.
  • January 31, 2017, is the date by which you’ll need to have mailed out your recipient copies of Form 1095.
  • February 28, 2017, is the IRS paper filing deadline for ACA Forms 1094 and 1095.
  • March 31, 2017, is the IRS e-filing deadline for ACA Forms 1094 and 1095.

Heads Up, Paper Filers
We have a few reminders just for you. If you’re paper filing, you cannot have more than 250 forms in your return. And where your business is located determines where your forms are sent:
  • If you're in AL, AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, ME, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, TX, VT, VA, or WV, send your forms to: Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX 73301.
  • If you're in AK, CA, CO, DC, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, ND, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, UT, WA, WI, or WY, send your forms to: Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center, Kansas City, MO 64999.

But to Make Sure Everything’s Done On Time,
ACAwise is the way to go. ACAwise not only sends you alerts that your forms are complete and ready to be mailed and transmitted, it keeps track of your employees throughout the year to let you know when it’s time to make offers of coverage and benefits. For more information about getting started with ACAwise, give us a call Monday through Friday, 9:00 - 6:00 EDT, at (704) 954-8420, or send us a message anytime at www.ACAwise.com/Contact.


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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Introducing ACAwise: An All-in-One ACA Compliance Solution

Introducing ACAwise: An All-in-One ACA Compliance Solution
Hello there, weary traveler! Welcome to ACAwise. You must be exhausted spending all this time searching the net, trying to find the best way to file the new Affordable Care Act forms and stay compliant with all its new rules and regulations. Why don’t you sit for a bit and we’ll tell you a bit of our story before you get back on your way. But, who knows? Maybe you’ll decide to hang out and set up shop with us here.

The ACAwise Story
ACAwise is the brainchild of the people who brought you other successful e-filing sites like ExpressTruckTax, ExpressIRSForms, and ExpressTaxExempt. As you’ve probably guessed, ACAwise is an IRS-authorized e-filing service for the ACA Forms 1094-B/C and 1095-B/C, but it’s also so much more.

The best way to ensure ACA compliance when you e-file each year is to keep a detailed record of your employees, the hours they work, and the health care coverage and other benefits you offer them throughout the year. Now, a lot of businesses who need to file the ACA forms will already have some sort of system like this in place. Well, companies who know the importance of keeping good business records will. But it’s unlikely these systems already have an IRS-authorized e-filing system in place for when tax season rolls around.

That’s where ACAwise comes in: it’s the best of both worlds. Real-time dashboards and built-in error checks help track your ACA compliance throughout the year, even alerting you when it’s time to make an offer of coverage or if you’re in jeopardy of receiving an ACA penalty (or) fee.

As For Tax Season...
ACAwise automatically creates Forms 1094 and 1095 at the end of the year based on the data you’ve entered. All you’ll need to do then is review and send them directly to the IRS through our secure e-filing system. Once our offices in Rock Hill, South Carolina get word your return has been filed - which is usually immediately, but may be the next morning depending on how late you’re up filing - we’ll print the recipient copies of Form 1095 for you and mail them out by the next business day.

And if for any reason your return comes back rejected, correcting returns is simple with ACAwise. For instance, the most common error ACA forms are rejected for is TIN mismatching. With the IRS’s e-file system, AIR, you get the entire return back and have to sift through each form’s codes to find the error. With ACAwise, our program automatically pulls the forms with mismatches for you and provides step-by-step instructions for correcting the error. See? Much simpler.

Want to Get in On ACAwise?
ACAwise will be launching a few “lite” versions in the coming months to get our system absolutely perfect for all your future ACA compliance and e-filing needs. Give us a call Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT, at (704) 954-8420 to find out more about how you can be one of the first to try this revolutionary new product, or send us a message anytime through our contact page or by email support@acawise.com.

Ready to e-file your 2015 forms before you get started with ACAwise? Check out our sister product, ExpressACAForms, where you can experience the same quick and easy e-filing engine used by ACAwise.


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