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ACA Reporting Penalties

The Baldwin Group
Updated: April 24, 2024
2 minute read

Proposed penalty assessments from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) arising from an employer’s failure to comply with the ACA’s annual employer information reporting obligations seem to have a knack for sneaking up on unsuspecting employers. These assessments can also begin to add up quickly, so employers that are required to perform the annual information reporting requirements are encouraged to furnish and/or file their outstanding ACA Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C (as applicable) as soon as possible. If an employer has thus far failed to fully and accurately perform its annual information reporting obligations (or otherwise failed to prepare and submit an IRS Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time of Time to File Information Returns), the employer should work expeditiously to resolve any outstanding reporting-related deficiencies. .

The April 1, 2024, filing deadline for applicable large employers and small employers sponsoring self-funded and/or level-funded group health plans during calendar year 2023 to prepare and submit their required Forms 1094-B, 1094-C, 1095-B and 1095-C (as applicable) has unfortunately already passed.  Potential IRS-imposed monetary penalties arising from the employer’s information reporting related deficiencies, as detailed in the following schedule of penalties:

  • $60/form if filed within 30 days of the missed deadline;
  • $120/form if filed after 30 days but before August 1;
  • $310/form if filed August 1 or after; and,
  • $630/form if the failure to file is intentionally disregarded by the underlying employer.

Note: There are annual maximums that may apply.

  • Also, keep in mind that there are distinct penalties associated with the failure to furnish Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C (as applicable) to the plan’s covered persons or its covered full-time employees, but only to the extent such failure to furnish is not remedied on or before March 1, 2024 (respecting the 2023 calendar year reporting cycle).

Organizations that do not offer Minimal Essential Coverage (“MEC”) to at least 95% of their full-time employees and their dependents for any month in 2024, and for which one or more full-time employees receives a Premium Tax Credit (PTC) subsidizing their purchase of health insurance coverage through a state-mandated insurance exchange, or the federal ACA marketplace, may be subject to an IRS assessed monetary penalty, as detailed under IRC Section 4980H(a) (the “A Penalty”).

Remember, the 4980H(a) penalty, also called the “sledgehammer penalty” (due to its pass-fail nature), is calculated, and assessed by the IRS on a per-employee basis, taking into consideration the underlying employer’s total count of fulltime employees. Consequently, to the extent an employer fails to provide a qualifying offer of enrollment for a MEC-complaint health insurance product (as sponsored by the underlying entity) to less than 95% of the sum of its total population of fulltime employees, the employer shall be assessed an applicable 4980H(a) noncompliance penalty.

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