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Friday, March 31, 2017

The Deadline's Today: Get More Time to File Your ACA Forms!


You read that right: TODAY is the LAST DAY to E-FILE YOUR ACA FORMS!!

We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again now: the Affordable Care Act Forms 1094 and 1095 reporting information for the tax year 2016 are due (today) March 31, 2017.

Now, if you start the e-filing process for your ACA Forms today, there’s, unfortunately, no guarantee that you’ll be able to get them transmitted to the IRS by 11:59 p.m. tonight (your time). There’s just a lot of info that goes into these forms, info that involves long numbers that absolutely must be in the right sequence and ACA codes that absolutely must be correctly used. Most of us aren’t built to handle that sort of intricacy on such short notice.

Which is why the IRS has an alternative. They get that things come up. They get (maybe) that information return forms aren’t that fun. So they offer the Form 8809 extension form as an option for ACA filers who need a little more time to get things together to file.

If Form 8809 sounds familiar, that’s because it’s also the extension form for other information returns, such as 1099 Forms (which are also due today!) and W-2 Forms. Last year, Form 8809 couldn’t be used to extend the ACA Form deadline because the IRS had already designated an automatic 3-month extension for all first-time ACA filers on each deadline.

This year, you can most certainly e-file Form 8809 for an automatic 30-day extension for your ACA Forms (as well as any of those other forms if necessary). And like the other forms, you’re not required to provide a reason for why you’re requesting extra time to file. Unless you’re requesting a second extension after getting approval for your first, which you can only do on paper.

Remember that Form 8809 must be e-filed by the original deadline as the form for which you’re submitting for an extension. Which means to extend your ACA or 1099 Form deadline, you’ll need to file that Form 8809 today as well.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to file Form 8809, you can always check out our sister product, ExpressExtension! It’s super simple, super quick, and is only $3.55! Check out their website (www.ExpressExtension.com) or give them a call (803-514-5155) to learn more!

Today’s going to be a busy one, but we know you can make it! Now, go get to e-filing!



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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What You Need to Know About ACA Filing Penalties


Affordable Care Act Forms 1094 and 1095 are due this Friday, March 31, 2017! And since we’ve established the ACA is here to stay (at least a little while), the ACA filing penalties are here to stay as well. The GOP ACA replacement bill was set to include a repeal of the ACA’s reporting penalties extended to businesses and insurance providers who don’t file (or file late) their 2016 ACA return and, without this, we’re left to assume the late-filing penalties initially instituted by the ACA will remain.

So, needless to say, it’s very important that you get those ACA Forms on time!

If you suspect you may be at risk for not filing on time, go ahead and get yourself an extra 30 days to file by filing Extension Form 8809 over at ExpressExtension. It shouldn’t take long, so if you want to do that now while you’re thinking about it - we’ll wait!

Okay, now that that’s done, let’s see just what you’re managing to miss out on:

The Penalties (duh, duh, duhhhh)
So what can filing your ACA Forms late end up costing you? Take a look:
  • -Failing to file a correct information return (a 1094 or 1095 Form in this case) with the IRS can incur a penalty of $260 per form, not to exceed $3,193,000 in a calendar year.
  • -Failing to provide a correct information return (1095 Form) to the individual for whom the form is reporting information can incur a $260 penalty per form, again not to exceed $3,193,000 per calendar year.
  • -You can also incur a $260 per form penalty if you’re required to e-file (like when you have more than 250 Forms per return) but submit paper forms instead.
And if you intentionally disregard to file these forms at all, the IRS can pull out the big guns and increase your per-statement and total penalties for your missing return.


At ACAwise, we’re dedicated to helping you file your ACA Forms correctly and on time so you can avoid any ACA filing penalties! But you’re going to need to hurry up and get started because there’s only so much we can do when time keeps marching on!

If you have any questions about the ACA e-filing process, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (704) 954-8420 or send us a live chat during our office hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. You can also send us an email anytime at support@ACAwise.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Trump Pulls the Plug on GOP Healthcare Bill


Well, guys, we’re stuck with the Affordable Care Act for at least a little while longer.

And by “at least a little while,” we mean “at least for the foreseeable future.”

At the end of last week, President Trump delivered a late-night ultimatum to House Republicans: Vote to approve their much-disputed overhaul of Obamacare on the House floor Friday or reject it so he could move on to other legislative priorities. Friday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill from the House floor before it could even be voted upon, ultimately saying, "We came up short...We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."

While President Trump was quick to place the blame for the bill’s ultimate failure on lack of Democratic support, when it came down to it, House Republicans simply didn’t anticipate enough votes that would allow the bill to pass either. Freedom Caucus conservatives believed the bill kept too much of the original Affordable Care Act intact, while more moderate Republicans were admittedly worried about electoral repercussions if the millions of Americans predicted to lose health insurance when the new bill passed would have lost coverage. 

So while our esteemed government officials figure out what would make a better bill to repeal and replace the ACA, we’re left to follow the laws that are still in place. The ACA laws, that is.

And that means that you’ve got a deadline this week! Forms 1094 and 1095 that need to be sent to the IRS to report health insurance coverage offered during the 2016 tax year are due this Friday (March 31)! And remember this is the e-filing deadline, so no paper forms.

Luckily, you’ve landed at ACAwise, which is a full-service e-file provider exclusively for the ACA Forms 1094 and 1095. We’ll help you get everything together and securely e-filed, and if you’re in a real pickle, we’ll even help you e-file the automatic 30-day extension form for ACA Forms: Form 8809.

We don’t have much time, so get to filing! And if you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re available by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. We also provide 24/7 support through email at support@ACAwise.com.


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Step by Step: How to E-file with ACAwise


The Affordable Care Act Form e-filing deadline is coming up! Are you ready?


It’s March 31, 2017, and if you’ve got an account with ACAwise, you’re already a step ahead of the rest! If you don’t, we’ll get you caught up. Just go to www.ACAwise.com and locate the “Request DEMO” or “Sign Up” buttons. You can either schedule a demo with a member of our support team to learn the ins and outs of ACAwise or jump right in by signing up!

To sign up, you’ll indicate whether you’re an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) or third-party administrator then answer a few questions about your business and how you’ll be using ACAwise.

With ACAwise, you can opt for Year End Filing to the IRS or Year End Filing to the IRS with Cross Walk from Employee Data services. With Year End Filing to the IRS, you provide all the necessary information to e-file your ACA Forms: employer/employee data, ACA codes, and other form data. When you add in Cross Walk, all you need to provide is your employer and employee data and our ACA experts generate the codes needed to finish your forms.

And once you submit all your information, you get to sit back and relax! How many other ACA e-file providers let you do that?

While you’re relaxin’, our ACAwise and our ACA experts work to create your forms for your ACA return. You can always check back in your account to see the status of your forms, or just wait for the email we’ll send to alert you that your forms are ready for review. And once you review those forms, all that’s left to do is officially transmit them to the IRS!


See how simple? See how little you have to do? What are you waiting for? Start e-filing with ACAwise today!



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Monday, March 20, 2017

Time is Running Out to File Your ACA Forms




Despite what’s being discussed in Washington, the Affordable Care Act is still in play and that means your ACA Forms are due soon!

For the 2016 tax year, Forms 1094 and 1095, which report the health insurance coverage you offered to employees and other recipients throughout the year, are due March 31, 2017, if you’re e-filing.

Paper filers had to have their forms in by February 28, but if you’d planned to paper file and missed the deadline, you can still e-file your forms without notifying the IRS. Just make sure everything is correctly filled out and e-filed by 11:59 p.m., March 31, 2017.

If you’ve never e-filed before, the ACA Forms are a perfect place to start. Perhaps a little more complicated than they need to be, it’s helpful to have a second set of eyes going over all that data you’re inputting to complete your forms. And when you e-file with ACAwise, that second set of eyes is actually a series of error checks built into the program by a team of e-filing experts with years of experience in the online filing industry.




So not only was ACAwise built to make starting and completing your ACA Forms as easy as possible (with our bulk upload options, cloud-based e-filing, and those error checks), it also comes backed with a customer support team that’s here to help you make sure your experience is as pleasant as filing IRS documents can be!

If you need help getting started or at any point in the process, don’t hesitate to give us a call! 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 provide 24/7 assistance at support@ACAwise.com.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What the New Healthcare Proposals Could Mean for ACA Requirements



In case you somehow missed it, the GOP released their Affordable Care Act replacement last week; and the American Health Care Act (AHCA), made up of the Ways and Means (W&M) and Energy and Commerce (E&C) bills, has caused quite the stir (to say the least).

So now that we have a replacement - or, at least, the beginnings of one - the question on everyone’s mind is just what does this mean for the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare)?

Of course, the proposal has yet to become law and it stands to reason that there will be ample amounts of time spent debating its more minute details before it officially replaces the ACA. Additionally, most of the proposed changes won’t take effect until 2018 or later so, for now, you still have to file those ACA Forms.

But just what does this new act have (or not have) that the ACA doesn’t (or did)? Well, the answer is a lot (to both questions), so we’re going to focus on how business owners and insurance providers will be affected. For how you may be effected on an individual level, read more here.

Removing Penalties Connected with the Employer Responsibility Provisions
According to this new act, the penalty for the employer responsibility provisions will be eliminated retroactively beginning with the year 2016. It’s important to note that the mandate for employer responsibility provisions won’t be eliminated, possibly because of the Byrd Rule. In other words, this new legislation won’t eliminate the ACA’s employer reporting requirements.

Repealing Actuarial Value Requirements
Under the AHCA, the ACA’s actuarial value (AV) and metal level requirements after December 31, 2019, will end so states will be allowed to permit age ratios of 5:1 for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2018. This means insurance providers will be able to sell plans with AVs of less than 60%, more than 90%, and anything in between. The maximum out-of-pocket limit in the ACA has been retained, however, so insurers cannot sell plans less generous than the ones currently allowed.

No Tax for Higher-Cost Employer Plans
Contrary to what an earlier, leaked version of the GOP’s health care plan said, the bills that make up the AHCA do not impose a tax on higher-cost employer-sponsored health plans. There’s also no repeal of the ACA’s enactment of the economic substance doctrine. This doctrine penalizes arrangements that only avoid taxes and serve no other business or economic purposes.

Changes to the ACA’s Premium Tax Credits
The biggest changes to the premium tax credits are for individuals, but small employers will see a change in their premium tax credits as well. As of December 31, 2019, the small employer tax credit would end. In the meantime, the interim credit could not be used for plans that cover non-excepted abortions (abortions performed for reasons other than the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother).

The AHCA’s New Tax Credits
There are a few new tax credits available to taxpayers at an individual level under the AHCA, so this means changes for employers and other insurance providers. The employer W-2 reporting requirements for coverage will still need to be modified and IRS tax information disclosure provisions would need to be amended to reflect the tax credit program changes.

To Sum Up
The ACHA’s tax cuts may appear attractive to health insurers and providers as they mean a trillion dollars in tax breaks. As it stands, however, the new legislation could thin out federal funding for (and therefore recipients of) Medicaid. It could also mean more expensive coverage for the elderly, lower-income families and individuals, and those with pre-existing conditions. In other words, it’s safe to say that there will be a lot more debating between the powers-that-be before the final version of the ACHA becomes law.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Here's How You Can Get More Time to E-file ACA Forms


Last week, we mentioned that, if you’re a business owner, you may want to look into extending the deadline for your business’s IRS information returns. You know, if you’re the type of person who likes having more time to get something important done.

Now, this week, we’re here to tell you how you can take advantage of an extension form that’ll extend the amount of time you have to e-file your Affordable Care Act Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS! It’s Form 8809, and if it sounds familiar that’s because this is the Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns and is used to extend the deadline for a lot of IRS forms. In fact, as a business owner, you may have even used Form 8809 before to extend the deadline for any one of these information returns:
  • -Form W-2, W-2G
  • -Form 1042-S
  • -Form 1094-C
  • -Form 1095
  • -Form 1097, 1098, 1099
  • -Form 3921, 3922
  • -Form 5498
  • -Form 8027

As you’re probably already aware, there are some serious IRS penalties that come along with submitting your ACA Forms late. So, why not get a little extra time if you can? With the ACA Forms, there’s no need to provide a reason for why you’re requesting an extension, so all you have to do is fill out some basic information on Form 8809 and submit it to the IRS before March 31 (the original ACA e-filing deadline).

Upon approval of Form 8809, you (or, technically, your EIN) will be granted an extra 30 days to file Forms 1094 and 1095. Now, that’s no 5½ to 7 months like with Form 7004, but it is plenty of time to get your e-filing completed with ACAwise while avoiding any late filing penalties.

So if you think you might be late with your IRS Form 1094 and 1095 e-filing, head on over to ExpressExtension real quick, e-file that Form 8809, then head on back to ACAwise where we’ll help you get everything in order to e-file your return!

If you have any questions in the meantime, as always, don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team. We’re happy to help and available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, by phone at (704) 954-8420 and live chat through our website. And we also offer 24/7 assistance at support@ACAwise.com!

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Business Owners: Form 7004 is Due Next Week!

Form 7004 for business tax extensions is due March 15, 2017!

If you’ve stumbled upon ACAwise because you need to e-file ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS, chances are you either own (or know someone who owns) a business. And if you do, chances are very likely that you need to file taxes for that business. Which is why we wanted to take a break from ACA talk to tell you about Form 7004!

As a business owner, you’re probably all too aware of the business income tax deadline next week. March 15, 2017, is the last day to file your business’s income taxes for the 2016 tax year and it’s only getting closer.

BUT, if you file Form 7004, you could automatically get up to seven more months to file the information return that goes along with those taxes. Unfortunately, Form 7004 does not extend your time to pay said taxes, but at least you won’t have to worry about the paperwork for a while.

So here’s how Form 7004 works. You’ll file
  • -Form 7004, Part I for an automatic six-month extension if you own a C-Corporation with a tax year ending December 31.
  • -Form 7004, Part II for an automatic five-and-a-half-month extension if you’re the presider over certain estates and trusts.
  • -Form 7004, Part III for an automatic six-month extension if you’d normally file Part I or Part IV, but your tax year doesn’t end on December 31 or June 30. Other business owners may qualify to file Part III as well.
  • -Form 7004, Part IV for an automatic seven-month extension if you own a C-Corporation with a tax year ending June 30.

And, luckily, we know of a place where you can easily and quickly e-file Form 7004 so you can get in on those extensions: ExpressExtension! ExpressExtension was built and is run by the same people who brought you ACAwise, so you know you can trust it - it is also IRS-authorized, after all.

And if that little bit up there about which part of Form 7004 made your head spin, you won’t need to worry about that with ExpressExtension. You see, ExpressExtension breaks down Form 7004 into a simple, interview-style Q & A process. Just answer a few questions about your business and the tax forms you typically file, and ExpressExtension makes sure to fill out the appropriate sections correctly so you can e-file Form 7004 in no time. The best part? You’ll typically hear back that same day (usually within the same hour!) that your Form 7004 - and therefore, multiple-month extension - has been approved by the IRS.

So why don’t you head on over to www.ExpressExtension.com? Once you’ve created an account, it only takes a few minutes to file an extension form that could get you months of time to file your IRS forms!

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Determining Full-Time and Full-Time Equivalent Employees



Welcome back to the work week, folks! 

We’re here with some information on those Affordable Care Act forms!

As you may know, if you’re an applicable large employer (ALE), you need to offer health insurance coverage and to your full-time and full-time equivalent employees. This is a part of the ACA’s employer mandate to help ensure more US taxpayers have access to affordable health insurance.

So just a few basics about this rule before we get down to the nitty-gritty of it: ALEs are employers with fifty or more full-time employees. This total of fifty or more does include full-time equivalent employees. Additionally, the IRS considers 30 or more hours a week (or more than 130 hours per month) to be full-time. 

Among the hours included when you tally up your employee hour totals are the hours for which an employee is entitled to payment but no job duties are performed. These hours include:
  • -Vacation days
  • -Sick days
  • -Paid Family and Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA)
  • -Military leave
  • -Leave for jury duty
And before you get ahead of yourself tallying, keep in mind that these hours do not include:
  • -Hours spent volunteering
  • -Work study program or internship hours
  • -Hours spent earning foreign-sourced income

The IRS has a few standard ways you can tally up your employees’ hours, but first, there are some conditions:
  1. 1. You must stick to the method you pick for the entire year. If you decide you want to change methods, you’ll have to wait until the next year’s reporting.
  2. 2. Methods 2 and 3 (listed below) can both be used to classify your salaried employees, just make sure you keep your classifications consistent.
  3. 3. You cannot, however, use Methods 2 or 3 if the results you come up with using them understate the employee’s hours to bring them below the full-time employee hour minimum.

So now that you know just about everything about these methods, we present them to you, our dear readers, The Methods for Determining Your Full-Time Employees:
  1. 1. The Simple Method (although, maybe not if you’re working with salaried employees): Total up the actual hours of service for each employee for each month.
  2. 2. The Daily Method: Total up the number of days each month an employee did at least eight (8) hours of work.
  3. 3. The Weekly Method: Total up the number of weeks each month an employee did thirty (30) hours of work.

Once you’ve tallied your employee’s hours and know who meets the full-time employee requirements, you’ll have the employees to whom you need to offer health insurance coverage. Then all that’s left is to make the offer and report it on Form 1095-C.



And, speaking of Form 1095-C, you can e-file it right here with ACAwise! We have everything in place to make sure everything for your reporting is handled quickly, easily, and efficiently - and, of course, securely! To get started, just head on over to www.ACAwise.com and sign up for an account or free demo. And don’t hesitate to give our customer support staff a call if you need anything. We’re available at (704) 954-8420 and by live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST and we provide email support 24/7 at support@ACAwise.com!



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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Your Employee 1095 Forms Must Be Mailed TOMORROW!


Okay, ACA filers, it’s just about that time: time to have your employee and recipient copies mailed out!

If you have to file an Affordable Care Act return to report the health insurance coverage you offered and provided throughout the year, you probably already know you need to provide individual statements to your coverage offer recipients as well.

You may also be aware that the IRS gave all ACA filers an automatic extension for the 1095 Form recipient deadline. Instead of having to mail Forms 1095-B or 1095-C out by January 31 - the actual ACA recipient form deadline - the IRS extended the deadline to March 2, 2017.

Those with a calendar handy will notice that March 2nd is tomorrow!

Now, don’t give yourself a heart attack stressing out if you’re not exactly ready for the deadline tomorrow. For one thing, your recipient forms just need to be postmarked by tomorrow. That means you have all day today and most of tomorrow to get things done if you need.

For another thing, you can get your recipient form mailing done easily and quickly, right from your own computer, without ever having to buy stamps, stuff envelopes, or spend precious time in line at the post office. All you need is ACAwise!

With your ACAwise account (which is free, by the way), you can upload all of your ACA information at once to complete all the forms in your return in no time at all! With our full-service options, once you e-file your returns, you’ll also be eligible for our postal mailing feature. That means once you transmit your return, we’ll be alerted that your recipient forms are ready to be printed mailed, so we’ll print and mail them for you!

Just make sure, if you want to have us have them out on time, to have your ACA forms ready and filed by tomorrow, March 2, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. EST. Of course, even if you file after that and have postal mailing as part of your package, we’ll still mail out your forms for you, we just want you to be aware that you may incur late-mailing penalties from the IRS (which, you really only have to worry about if an employee or recipient reports their form missing to the IRS).

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get those 1095 Forms mailed! Check out www.ACAwise.com, and if you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re available by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. We also provide 24/7 assistance through email at support@ACAwise.com!

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