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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Form 1095 Recipient Copies Due Next Week!


Alright, people, it’s time to shape up or ship out! It’s the second year of ACA e-filing and that means the IRS isn’t going as easy on us as it did last year.

(I mean, sure, they did extend the recipient filing deadline from January 31 to March 2, but now I’m just getting ahead of myself.) Back to the tough love:

Although the White House is crying “Repeal!”, they haven’t actually done that yet. That means the Affordable Care Act is still the law and that means we’re all still obligated to follow it. Because if we don’t, the IRS is obligated to give out penalties. And trust us, that’s not something we want to deal with.

So to bring us a few steps closer to our main point: you do have to file your ACA returns this year, and you do have to file them on time. No more of this “we’ll waive late filing penalties for a good excuse” leniency (although if it is, like, a really good excuse - life-or-death good - the IRS does have some options for you).

All this to say that your Form 1095 recipient copies must be completed, stamped, and mailed out by March 2, 2017, which is just a week and a day away.

This is one extension of the original deadline, as the recipient copies are typically supposed to be mailed out by January 31. But for your 2016 tax year reporting, you’ll have until March 2, 2017.

And if you haven’t started on your recipient 1095 Forms yet, might we suggest ACAwise? When you e-file with us, you have access to our postal mailing option. When you opt for postal mailing, we print your recipient copies of Form 1095 and mail them to the appropriate individuals for you.

Plus, since you have to transmit your forms for us to receive your postal mailing order, you get a step ahead of the game and have your forms e-filed with the IRS almost a full month before the e-filing deadline (which is March 31). Win-win, right?

Of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our all-star customer support team. We’re here to answer your questions 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.

Keep in mind that to ensure your forms are mailed on time, you’ll need to have your order in by 12:00 p.m. EST, March 2, 2017. Now, go get to filing!

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Monday, February 20, 2017

How You Should Sit at Your Desk & Why it Matters


There are no two ways around it: those of us in the tax and e-filing industries spend a lot of time at our desks.

Unfortunately, for some of us, this means certain specific pains and aches to deal with at the end of the day. Poor desk posture can cause lower back pain, wrist pain, neck tightness, and can even affect your ease of mobility over time.

Of course, none of us wants to deal with pain if we don’t have to, and we don’t have to: avoiding these aches and pains is as simple as sitting properly. So coming directly to you from the ergonomics experts at Ergonomics.com, here’s how you should be sitting every day for optimal well-being:

First, Your Chair
Before we even talk about looking at and handling your computer, let’s make sure your foundation (aka your chair) is nice and firm.
  • -Sit your hips as far back in the chair as they can go.
  • -Adjust your seat height. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your knees parallel with (or just slightly lower than) your hips.
  • -Adjust your seat back. Go for a reclined angle between 100-110° and make sure your upper and lower back are supported.
    • -If you need, use inflatable cushions or small pillows to get the full support your back needs.
    • -And if your chair has an active back mechanism, use that to make frequent position changes.
  • -Adjust your arm rests. They should be at a height that allows your shoulders to be relaxed. If they’re in your way, remove them.

Next, the Keyboard
Keep in mind when adjusting your keyboard setup that it should not push you too far away from the other work materials on your desk (like your phone).
  • -Pull up close to your keyboard and keep it positioned so that the section you use most is centered in front of your body.
  • -When typing, your shoulders should be relaxed, your elbows in a slightly open position, and your wrists and hands straight.
Remember that wrist rests can help maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces BUT they should not be used while typing, only to rest your palms between strokes.

And Now, Your Workspace
Believe it or not, your computer screen(s), work documents, and telephone all have specific locations for optimal posture. The main thing to remember here is to always keep your neck in a neutral, relaxed position.
  • -Center your computer screen directly in front of you (above your keyboard). Your screen should be 2-3” above seated eye level. If you wear bifocals, however, lower the screen to a more comfortable reading level.
  • -Adjust the distance between you and your screen for your vision, but make sure to always sit at least an arm’s length away.
  • -You can reduce the glare of your screen with careful positioning.
    • -Place it at a right angle to windows and adjust your blinds or curtains as needed.
    • -If you have overhead lights, adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimize glare.
  • -Position your source documents directly in front of you. If you have space, use an in-line copy stand to keep your documents between your screen and keyboard. If not, use a document holder adjacent to your screen.
  • -Your telephone should be in easy reach, using a telephone stand if necessary. Additionally, using a headset or speakerphone can help eliminate handset cradling.

But Don’t Forget
Even though you’re now sitting properly, you’ll want to make sure to move around every so often. Prolonged, static postures inhibit blood circulation, which can take a serious toll on you.
  • -Stretch for 1-2 minutes every 20 or 30 minutes. 
  • -After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for 5-10 minutes.
  • -Always leave your computer during lunch breaks (if you can).
  • -Rest and refocus your eyes periodically to avoid eye fatigue. Glance away from your monitor(s) and focus on something in the distance.
  • -You can also rest your eyes by covering them with your palms for 10-15 seconds.


Be sure to stay tuned with ACAwise for more helpful office tips as well as important Affordable Care Act reporting information! And if you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Leave a comment below or call, chat, or email our customer support team today!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Need to File 1099s or W-2s? Check Out ExpressTaxFilings!


Chances are if you’re filing either of the ACA Forms 1095-B or 1095-C, you probably need to file some W-2 Forms and maybe even a 1099 or two as well.

Well, look no further because the people who’ve brought you simple and secure ACA e-filing (that’s us!) have been in the e-filing game a while and already have just what you need to get those other information returns filed: ExpressTaxFilings!

Currently, you can easily and quickly e-file the following forms with ExpressTaxFilings:
  • -1099 Forms
    • -1099-MISC, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-R, and 1099-B Forms
    • -1099 Form Corrections
    • -1096 Form* generation
  • -W-2 Forms
    • -W-2 and W-2c Forms
    • -W-3 Form* generation
  • -Extension Form 8809
  • -Form W-9
    • -Of course, you don’t actually e-file Form W-9, but you can have recipients e-sign it through ExpressTaxFilings!
*A quick note on the transmittal Forms 1096 and W-3: these forms aren’t technically required when you e-file since a digital version is automatically created whenever you transmit your return. However, when you e-file with ExpressTaxFilings, we generate a copy of the transmittal form for your return that you can print and keep for your records.

ExpressTaxFilings even offers state filing for certain forms in almost every state and we’re working every day to add more.

And speaking of adding more, these forms are just the tip of the iceberg compared to where we intend to take ExpressTaxFilings - prepare for even more forms to be rolled out in the coming months! We want to make sure any IRS information return you need to file can be done so easily and securely through ExpressTaxFilings.

ExpressTaxFilings also provides quality, US-based customer support anytime at no extra charge! Simply give us a call (704-684-4751) or send us a live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST to talk to a friendly representative. We also provide 24/7 support via email at support@ExpressTaxFilings.com.


So what are you waiting for? Check out ExpressTaxFilings today!


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What to Do If You Receive a 1095 Form


Today, we’re going to flip the script a bit and look at Form 1095 from the recipient side!

So, you’ve received a Form 1095 (A, B, or C). Maybe it came with your W-2, maybe it came on its own. Either way, it was in a fancy envelope with “Important Tax Information” somewhere on it.

Now what?

There’s not that much for you to do, to be completely honest. The most important thing though is to hang onto that Form 1095 for at least three years in the case of any IRS audit you may incur.

Form 1095 is sent to you by your insurance provider - whether that’s an actual insurance provider, your employer, or a governmental program - to explain the health care coverage you received from them during the previous year. And, depending on the type of 1095 you receive, you may need it to report details about that coverage on your own tax return.

It’s possible that you may receive more than one 1095 Form, typically if:
  • -you had coverage from more than one provider,
  • -more than one employer you worked for offered coverage,
  • -you changed employers or coverage during the year, or
  • other members of your family received coverage from another provider.
The IRS has some specific instructions for you if you receive more than one form in question 8 of this FAQ.

Keep in mind that the IRS has extended the deadline for employers and providers to have recipient copies out to March 2 of this year, so if you haven’t received a 1095 Form yet, you still might.

So what do you need a 1095 Form to report your taxes for? We’ll tell ya: if you receive a 1095-B or 1095-C, getting the form is the confirmation you need to go ahead and check that box on your W-2 that says you and your family were covered for the entire year. If you receive a 1095-A, you may be able to use this form to claim an exemption or make a payment along with your tax return.

If you have any further questions about your 1095 or it contains incorrect or missing information, contact the person who issued you the form to resolve the issue.

With the instability of the Affordable Care Act, there’s no telling if we’ll need these forms a year from now. But as it stands, the ACA is still the law of the land, so when you get your 1095 Form, hold onto it and don’t forget to bring it back out when you file your 2016 tax return.


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Form 1095-C Codes


We know you’re hard at work on those ACA Forms that are due to your recipients by the end of this month, so we wanted to make sure you had all the information you need.

One of the most important parts of the Form 1095-C is how you indicate data about the coverage you offered each employee. You do this using Code Series 1 and Code Series 2 in lines 14 and 16 of Form 1095-C. The IRS then reviews these codes to make sure you have everything running smoothly and compliantly with your ACA employer requirements.

Line 14 Codes
In line 14, you’ll encounter Code Series 1 - Offer of Coverage. The code you choose in line 14 indicates to the IRS and your recipient certain details about the healthcare coverage you offered that specific recipient. You’ll need a code for each month, and the codes indicate whether the coverage you offered met minimum essential coverage (MEC), minimum value (MV), and dependent coverage guidelines.

Code Series 1 - Offer of Coverage
  • -Code 1A. Qualifying Offer made to the employee, their spouse, and dependent(s), if any.
    • -Qualifying Offers provide MEC at MV with the Employee Required Contribution being no more than 9.5% of the mainland single federal poverty line, as adjusted.
  • -Code 1B. MEC offered at MV to the employee only.
  • -Code 1C. MEC offered at MV to the employee and their dependent(s).
  • -Code 1D. MEC offered at MV to the employee and their spouse.
  • -Code 1E. MEC offered at MV to the employee, their spouse, and their dependent(s).
  • -Code 1F. MEC offered that did not meet MV to the employee, their spouse, and their dependent(s), or any combination thereof.
  • -Code 1G. MEC offered to a non-employee or a part-time employee.
    • -If using, Code 1G, you must enter it for all 12 months.
  • -Code 1H. Coverage was not offered to the employee.
  • -Code 1I. Reserved.
    • -Code 1I was used to report conditions exclusive to the 2015 tax year, so it has been reserved for future years and should not be used.
  • -Code 1J. MEC offered at MV to the employee and conditionally offered to their spouse.
  • -Code 1K. MEC offered at MV to the employee and their dependent(s) and conditionally offered to their spouse.

Line 16 Codes
In line 16, we have the Code Series 2 - Section 4980H Safe Harbor Codes and Other Relief for ALE Members. This is where you’re able to explain a bit more about what you’ve entered in line 14. Unlike line 14, line 16 may be left blank if none of the Code Series 2 codes apply to your recipient’s situation.

Code Series 2 - Section 4980H Safe Harbor Codes and Other Relief for ALE Members
  • -Code 2A. The employee was not employed during this month.
    • -Do not use code 2A if the employee worked even one day during the month.
    • -Do not use code 2A if the employee was fired.
  • -Code 2B. 
    • -The employee was not working full-time during this month.
    • -The employee was not full-time and did not enroll in coverage.
    • -The employee was full-time but coverage ended only because the employee resigned.
  • -Code 2C. The employee enrolled in the coverage offered.
    • -Do not use code 2C if code 1G is in line 14.
    • -Do not use code 2C if the coverage did not meet MEC.
    • -Do not use code 2C for months a terminated employee is enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage.
  • -Code 2D. The employee was in a section 4980H(b) Limited Non-Assessment Period or an initial measurement period during this month.
  • -Code 2E. The multiemployer arrangement interim guidance applies for this employee for this month.
    • -Use code 2E in place of any other Code Series 2 code that may apply.
  • -Code 2F. Section 4980H Form W-2 safe harbor was used to determine this employee’s affordability.
    • -Code 2F must be used for all 12 months.
  • -Code 2G. Section 4980H federal poverty line safe harbor was used to determine this employee’s affordability.
  • -Code 2H. Section 4980H rate of pay safe harbor was used to determine this employee’s affordability.

Automatic Code Generation with ACAwise
When you e-file with ACAwise, you can opt for our Automatic Code Generation feature and bypass learning all about these code series and their individual codes. Just provide the information you have on your employees’ health insurance offers and our program will do the rest! Based on that information, we’ll make sure the right codes are in the right places on your 1095-C Forms.

To get started or schedule a free demo, don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team in Rock Hill, South Carolina! We’re available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat. We also provide 24/7 email assistance at support@ACAwise.com.



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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Your 1095 Forms Need to Be Sent by the End of the Month


Get ready guys, February’s here! And forget the stress of yesterday’s 1099 and W-2 Form deadline, we’ve got 1095 Forms to worry about!

Being the shortest month of the year, February naturally has two 1095 Form deadlines at the end of it.

February 28, 2017
First things first, all paper filers need to have their 1094 and 1095 Forms mailed to the IRS by February 28, 2017. This means the 1095 Forms you need to file must be completely filled out, a Form 1094 must be completed to go along with them, and they need to be stuffed in envelopes, stamped, and sent off to the IRS by the last day of this month.

March 2, 2017
If February were a normal amount of days, this deadline would fall on the actual last day (the thirtieth) of the month. But, since it doesn’t, the last day to send your 1095 Forms to your recipients is March 2, 2017.

Originally, these forms were due to your recipients by January 31. Imagine how hectic that would’ve been! However, the IRS extended the deadline to have 1095-B or 1095-C Forms to your recipients by a month to March 2. It isn’t the three-month extension they gave to each deadline last year, but, hey, it’s something!

Have Everything On Time with ACAwise
If you e-file with ACAwise, right off the bat, you can disregard the February 28 deadline! That’s because e-filers have until March 31 to get their forms transmitted to the IRS. So, bonus numero uno right there.

Also when you e-file with ACAwise, you have the option to have us mail your recipient copies of Form 1095-B or 1095-C for you! And we guarantee to have your documents mailed out by the next business day after you order. That way, you can be sure your forms arrive on time.

As you’re working with ACAwise, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team. We’re here to help in any way we can! We provide support by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat Monday through Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. We also offer assistance 24/7 at support@ACAwise.com!


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