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Friday, December 29, 2017

Latest Developments: The Affordable Care Act

What can business owners expect during the 2018 tax season as a result of new federal regulation from Washington.

Many businesses preparing to meet ACA regulations and standards are confused over their filing requirements as a result of recent developments. Here’s how the recent news will affect your business. 

Latest Developments: The Affordable Care Act


GOP’s New Tax Bill

On December 22 President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act after the House passed the tax bill with a historic party line vote. This tax reform bill reduces the federal budget deficit by approximately $318 billion by eliminating costs associated with the individual mandate.

Although the individual mandate has been repealed, individuals must comply with the previous obligation for the 2018 tax season. Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators are still required to track ACA compliance and provide ACA reporting for the 2017 fiscal tax year. Those who fail to file will face ACA filing penalties.

For more information on your ACA reporting and filing, obligations click here.

The current administration claims that this will make the end of the ACA, but applicable businesses must prepare and file all required healthcare information forms.

Deadline Extended For ACA Forms


When to Report

President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs ActEXTENSION OF 2017 DUE DATES: On November 18, 2016, the IRS extended the 2017 due date for providing 2016 health coverage information forms to individuals. Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2017 to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31.

Notice 2016-70, also extends transition relief from certain penalties (IRC Sections 6721 and 6722) to providers and employers that can show that they have made good-faith efforts to comply with the information-reporting requirements for 2016 for incorrect or incomplete information reported on the return or statement.

The due dates for filing 2016 information returns with the IRS remain unchanged for 2017. The 2017 due dates are February 28 for paper filers and March 31 for electronic filers. This chart can help you understand the upcoming deadlines.

2018 ACA Reporting and Compliance Solution

Despite the continued efforts to “repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act, your business will still be required by law to report and file required information returns. Those who ignore this responsibility will face severe penalties.

While the road ahead might be rocky ACAwise will continue to provide full-service ACA reporting and compliance. Getting started is easy, and, with volume-based pricing, you will get the best deal available! Explore all ACAwise has to offer with a free demo. Get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you smoothly file your 1094 and 1095 Forms.

Sign-up Today!



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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What You Need to E-File ACA Forms This Year

Does the repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate have you confused? Many employers are confused over their filing requirements and what they need to e-file ACA forms this year. The GOP’s new tax bill does not entirely repeal the ACA/Obamacare. Currently, all obligations are still in effect for the 2018 tax filing season. Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators are still required to track ACA compliance and provide ACA reporting for the 2017 fiscal tax year; anyone who fails to file will face ACA filing penalties. Here is what you will need to e-file ACA forms this year.

What You Need to E-File ACA Forms This Year


Preparing for ACA Reporting

Since the Affordable Care Act remains in place, Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators must still provide and report their employees’ health insurance coverage for the 2017 fiscal year. The IRS has stated that all tax returns filed by individuals, not including the ACA required health care coverage information will be rejected.

All Applicable Large Employers must file Form 1095-C with the IRS and provide copies to employees by the deadline.

On December 22nd, the IRS has extended the deadline for providing 1095-C or 1095-B Forms to employees by 30 days.


The new 2018 deadline for supplying recipients with the correct ACA forms is March 2nd, 2018. However, the IRS has not extended the deadline for filing 2017 ACA information returns to the IRS. Employers who choose to e-file are required to submit information returns to the IRS by April 2nd.

Form 1095-C

Employees need the Affordable Care Act Form 1095-C, the Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, to help them complete their tax returns.

What is reported on Form 1095-C?
  • Employee ID Numbers
  • Social Security Number Of Employee and Dependents
  • Proof of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

Form 1094-C

If this is your first year filing ACA Forms, you may be asking yourself what ACA Form 1094-C does… Form 1094-C serves as proof that Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators were compliant according to IRS regulation and the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate. As an Applicable Large Employer or Third Party Administrator, you must report information about whether you offered the affordable minimum essential health coverage and enrollment to all eligible employees. 

Are you required to file ACA forms electronically?

By law, any Applicable Large Employers or Third Party Administrators fling more than 250 forms must file Affordable Care Act information returns electronically. If your business files less 250 forms, you can paper file, although the IRS highly encourages e-filing. Keep in mind that the Affordable Care Act reporting deadline for those paper filing is February 28th, 2018.

ACAWise Your Reporting and Compliance Solution

Don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Despite the ongoing efforts to “repeal and replace” the controversial Affordable Care Act, it is still required by law and those who ignore their responsibilities will face severe consequences.

Choose ACAwise to handle your company’s ACA reporting and compliance. Getting started is easy, and, with volume-based pricing, you will get the best deal available! Explore all ACAwise has to offer with a free demo. Get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you smoothly file your 1094 and 1095 Forms.

Schedule Your Free Demo



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Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Today gives us all a chance to step back and review our accompaniments over the past year. We have achieved a lot in 2017, and we look forward to the growth 2018 will bring.

The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to thank all of our clients and partners that have worked with us this year. Thank you for your continued trust and support. We are proud to assist with all your ACA reporting and compliance needs, now and in the future. We rejoice in the fact we are a part of your future success.

-  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year  -
ACAWise

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What is a Qualifying Life Event and Special Enrollment?


The Affordable Care Act required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a hefty tax penalty. For most the open enrollment period has already passed meaning, you will need to wait until next year to sign up. However, if there is a drastic life changing event in your life, you will be able to sign up. So what is a qualifying life event and special enrollment?

What is a Qualifying Life Event and Special Enrollment?


Restricted Enrollment

The Affordable Care Act offers limited enrollment periods to prevent people from signing for insurance only when sick or injured. This is why there is typically a specific open enrollment period usually November to January depending on the state.

If you failed to purchase an individual health insurance policy with your employer or on your own you must wait until the next open enrollment period. However, if you experience a qualifying life event you will enter a special enrollment period so you can purchase health insurance immediately.

Qualifying Life Event

qualifying life event is fairly self-explanatory- it is an event in your life that make you eligible for a special enrollment period. This period generally lasts 60 days before or after the event. There are four basics types of events that can qualify you: Loss of coverage, household changes, residence changes, and other.

For the full list of qualifying life events: Click Here


Apply for Special Enrollment Period

If you have earned a qualifying life event and would like to apply for a special enrollment period you will need to do so through your state exchange or Healthcare.gov. Once your eligible has been determined you can start a 2018 application for insurance coverage.

ACA Compliance

Share this with your clients today to help educate them on ACA qualifying life events. Your job is to help them with their coverage, our job is to help you with your ACA reporting and compliance. Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrator can trust ACAwise with volume-based pricing and full-service features ensuring you get the best deal available!


Request Demo Today!


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Monday, December 18, 2017

The Applicable Large Employers Guide to the Affordable Care Act


While the future of the Affordable Care Act continues to be shrouded in uncertainty, ACA reporting for the 2017 tax year is still alive and well. Applicable Large Employers are still required to track ACA compliance and provide ACA reporting for the 2017 fiscal tax year. January 31st will be here before you know it so here is the applicable large employers guide to the Affordable Care Act.

The Applicable Large Employers Guide to the Affordable Care Act


Determining ALE Status

ALE status is determined each year based on the number of employees within your business. The Affordable Care Act classifies an ALE as 50 or more full-time employees defined as an individual who works 30 or more hours per week.

Your part-time employee hours are combined to equal full-time employees. For example, two employees working 15 hours per week count as a single full-time employee. Additionally, if your company has 50 or more employees for more than 120 days, you are considered an ALE.

Your status as an ALE status is determined by the number of employees for the previous tax year. If you had 50 full-time equivalent employees during 2017, you will be classified as an ALE for the 2018 tax year.

Employer Shared Responsibility

As an applicable small business employer, you are required by the ACA to offer health insurance to your employees and their dependents. The health insurance provided must meet the minimum standard defined by the Affordable Care Act. Any company or organization that does not provide coverage to 95% or more of its employees will incur substantial penalties.

The employer shared responsibility provision states that an employer must offer health insurance at an affordable price or make an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS. This is also as referred to as the employer mandate or the pay or play provisions. 

Offering Affordable Coverage

Affordable health insurance is defined as 9.5% of your employee's annual household income. Because you are unable to know this information the IRS provides a guideline called safe harbors. If the health insurance you offer to your employees offer one or more of these safe harbors you are meeting the standards for employer shared responsibility.

Affordability Safe Harbors:
  • W-2 Form Safe Harbor: Employee wages reported in Box 1
  • Rate of Pay Safe Harbor: Employees wages at the start of health insurance coverage period.
  • Federal Poverty Safe Harbor: Based on employee’s health insurance contribution for the given year.

ACA Reporting and Compliance

ACAwise is a full-service ACA reporting and compliance solution for all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs)and Third Party Administrator (TPAs). Getting started with ACAwise is simple, and with volume-based pricing, you will be sure to get the best deal available!



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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tomorrow is the Last Day to Sign-Up For Open Enrollment


Tomorrow is the last day to sign-up for open enrollment healthcare. If your employees need to sign-up for individual or employee health insurance plan now is the time. This is a vital time for those searching for coverage because those who miss the deadline must wait for until next year to enroll or experience a qualifying life event.

Tomorrow is the Last Day to Sign-Up For Open Enrollment


Open Enrollment Dates

For all states using HealthCare.gov and states using their own exchanges, the 2018 open enrollment dates are November 1st through December 15th. If your employees enroll by tomorrow, their coverage will begin January 1st, 2018 and they will qualify as insured.

Extended Enrollment Dates

These select states have extended the enrollment deadlines:
  • California: January 31, 2018
  • Colorado: January 12, 2018
  • Connecticut: December 22, 2017
  • Massachusetts: January 23, 2018
  • Minnesota: January 14, 2018
  • New York: January 31, 2018
  • Rhode Island: December 31, 2017
  • Washington: January 14, 2018
  • Washington, DC: January 31, 2018

If your employees reside in these state, their coverage will begin on different dates.
  • California: 
    • December 15th -- January 1, 2018
    • January 15th -- February 1, 2018
    • January 31st -- March 1, 2018
  • Colorado: February 1, 2018
  • Connecticut: December 22, 2017
  • Massachusetts: February 1, 2018
  • Minnesota: February 1, 2018
  • New York: 
    • December 15th -- January 1, 2018
    • January 15th -- February 1, 2018
    • January 31st -- March 1, 2018
  • Rhode Island: December 31, 2017
  • Washington: February 1, 2018
  • Washington, DC:
    • December 15th -- January 1, 2018
    • January 15th -- February 1, 2018
    • January 31st -- March 1, 2018

If individuals or employees miss the 2018 open enrollment period must wait until the 2019 open enrollment period to enroll in individual healthcare.

Open Enrollment for ALEs

Applicable large employers who do not offer healthcare insurance during the annual open enrollment period will be subject to hefty penalties under the employer shared responsibility requirements. The healthcare coverage provided by your business must meet minimum essential coverage at a set minimum value. This coverage must be offered to all full-time employees as well as full-time equivalent employees.

ACAwise Compliance You Can Trust

ACAwise is a full-service ACA reporting and compliance solution for all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrator (TPAs). Getting started with ACAwise is simple, and with volume-based pricing, you will be sure to get the best deal available! 

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Brief History of The Affordable Care Act

If your business has recently grown, you might find yourself preparing to meet ACA regulations and standards. Despite the efforts of current legislators the Affordable Care Act still stands intact. Since open enrollment ends on Friday, we wanted to take a look back at the brief history of ACA.

A Brief History of The Affordable Care Act


Inception of the ACA

The Affordable Care Act, or commonly referred to as ObamaCare, was first proposed by former President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. While this was far from a new concept, the past Democratic administrations were unable to pass a mandated national insurance regulation.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March of 2010. Although the majority of provisions went into effect January 1st, 2014 many significant changes went into effect before this date.

Concept of the ACA

Most of the political action taken in 2009 was centered around the ACA. On July 14th the House Democrats first introduced a 1000-page plan for overhauling the past health care system. Many will remember the outrage and debates that insured as a result of this document.

In June of 2012, the last hurdle was cleared after the Supreme Court upheld the major of prisons set down by the health care law. This, however, leads to a suit filed by twenty-six state and the National Federation of Independent business who claimed disagreement with the mandate that individuals must carry insurance or pay penalties. The expansion of Medicaid was also among the list of reasons for the suit.

While the Supreme Court ruled in favor the most provisions of the ACA, they could not force cooperation with the Medicare expansion.

Execution of the ACA

Despite all debate, the United States House approved the ACA with a 220-215 vote on November 7th, 2009. The Senate later passed its version later that same year on December 24th with a 60-39 vote. The Senate bill was then amended and approved by the House in a 219-212 vote on March 21st, 2010. During this vote, all Republican representative voted against the law.

Then President Obama signed the bill into law in March with the core of the Affordable Care Act being “everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Full-Service E-Filing Solution for Business Owners



Our parent company SPAN Enterprises announces the launch of its latest tax filing solution, TaxBandits. This e-filing solution is a comprehensive tax filing software designed to fit the needs of your business and nonprofit organizations.

Full-Service E-Filing Solution for Business Owners

Available Forms:

Our sister product TaxBandits offers a wide selection of IRS forms including the 94x Series, W-2, 990 Forms, ACA filing, 1099 series, and extension forms. Their innovative platform is the simplest e-filing software solution on the market today, keeping our business moving forward.


E-Filing Features:

  • Multi-User Access
  • Real-Time Updates
  • Built-In Error Check
  • Activity Log
  • Printing/Postal Mailing
  • US-Based Support
  • Interview Style E-Filing
  • Bulk Upload
  • State Filings
  • Tax Extensions
  • And so much more!

Stay Tax Compliant!

Join the TaxBandits team this afternoon at 2 pm for an exclusive webinar titled, Vendor Payment & How to Stay Compliant. Here you will learn how to stay compliant with the IRS and how to report from the vendors who help you with your business.

Register For Free Tax Webinar

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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Best Full-Service ACA Compliance Solution for Your Business

business owners using ACAWise as ACA compliance solution

This year is quickly coming to a close, which means that it is time to prepare your businesses Affordable Care Act Forms 1094 and 1095. Choose the best full-service ACA compliance solution for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs). Getting started is easy and with volume-based pricing, you’ll be sure to get the best deal available!

ACAwise, The Best Full-Service ACA Compliance Solution for Your Business
Getting Started

Explore all ACAwise has to offer with a free demo; you’ll get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you easily file your 1094 and 1095 forms. One-on-one demos give you the opportunity to ask questions about e-filing and our full-service, volume-based pricing, so you are confident moving forward with the process.

ACAwise Account Setup

Once you have completed your free demo, you are ready to setup your account. You will start by entering your employer(s) necessary information. Whether you are an ALE, TPA, or merely filing yourself, you can complete your ACA e-filing with ACAwise.

E-File Directly to the IRS

ALE choosing ACAWise as their full-service ACA compliance solutionOnce you have entered your employer information upload their/your employee data using any format type. After the upload is complete ACAwise will start generating your ACA Forms 1094 and 1095. Once your forms are completed, review and securely send them to the IRS.

However, if you have already completed the process of completing ACA Forms 1094 and 1095, you can use ACAwise to upload your finished ACA Form 1094 and 1095 PDFs to directly e-file to the IRS. 

Postal Mailing

Before e-filing, you have the option to add postal mail to your ACAwise order. With our postal mailing feature, we will take care of your employee/recipient copies on your behalf. Once the IRS approves your forms, our trained staff members will print and mail your forms the next business day. Your employee/recipient copies will be sent through the US Postal Service form out Headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Sign-Up Today

If you have any question about getting started or signing up for your free demo, please contact us! We are available by phone (704)954-8420, live chat Monday through Friday, and email at support@acawise.com.



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Monday, December 4, 2017

What You Need to Know About Hiring Seasonal Employees



Seasonal employee working during the holiday season

Business owners and HR professionals can use seasonal and temporary employees to their advantage this holiday season. By hiring short-term employees this holiday season, you can avoid hiring full or part-time staff members which your company may not need year round. Here is what you need to know about hiring seasonal employees.

What You Need to Know About Hiring Seasonal Employees

Labor Laws Apply to Seasonal Employees

It should go without saying that harassment, discrimination, and workplace health and safety laws still apply to short-term staff members. Seasonal employees are also protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act concerning minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor.

Required Benefits For Seasonal Employees

Whether an employee is seasonal, part-time or full-time, you must provide specific benefits required by law. Employers must withhold the appropriate amount of Social Security and Medicare taxes from employee wages. Although unemployment benefits vary depending on the state, typically employers are still obligated for temporary and seasonal employees. However, there are select exceptions because of the nature of the positions and apply to those employed ten weeks or less.

Independent Contractors Vs. Seasonal Employees


Season employee hired by HR on the computer Independent contractors are especially useful during the holiday season. It is important to note that independent contractors are not employed by you, only hired by you. This can be a major benefit to your company; because they are primarily self-employed, you are not required to provide benefit, withhold tax or pay unemployment taxes. While you can not dictate the hour's independent contractors work, you are required to report compensation of $600 or more.

ACA Compliance For Employers

While we can not manage your holiday stress, we can help with your ACA reporting and compliance, which is kind of the same thing! ACAWise is your one-stop destination for all ACA requirements. Our software features real-time monitoring, excel data import, postal mailing, and so much more.

Comment, like, and share this blog with colleagues and fellow business owners this holiday season!

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