ACA reporting and deadlines: Top mistakes and how to avoid them

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When it was first introduced, the Affordable Care Act offered advantages for employees and employers alike. However, it also created added complications for businesses that continue today and into the future.

HR stakeholders in particular must ensure that their organization and its staff are observing requirements for ACA reporting, and are doing so in a way that matches stated deadlines. Despite understanding the importance of ACA, many businesses are still making mistakes with their ACA reporting and other associated HR and benefits processes. These mistakes can be time-consuming and costly – a report from Accounting Today found that since November 2017, the IRS has issued more than 30,000 notices to organizations that have failed to comply with ACA standards. The penalty assessments included in these notices rack up to a staggering $4.4 billion for noncompliance. 

It's best for HR teams to work proactively to avoid them.

Here, we've rounded up some of the top missteps companies make with ACA, as well as best practices for ensuring that these issues don't impact your organization.

Not filing according to ACA requirements 

One problem with ACA emerges when stakeholders don't observe ACA requirements for reporting filing, and therefore don't properly complete these tasks. It's important that HR leaders determine whether or not their organization is required to file, noted FitSmallBusiness. Companies that align with the following are required to file reports for ACA:

  • Businesses that have 50 or more full-time staff members, or employees that work 30 hours per week or more.
  • Organizations that have parent or subsidiary organizations that, when combined with their staff, create a total of more than 50 full-time employees.
  • Companies that utilize self-insured employer plans.

Incomplete reporting

There are two required elements involved in ACA filing that revolve around Form 1095 C. Another mistake that many companies make is completing the proper filing of this form with the Internal Revenue Service, but failing to send copies of the form to employees. On the other hand, providing form copies for staff members and forgetting to file them with the IRS occasionally takes place as well.

It's imperative that HR leaders complete both required steps.

Failing to observe deadlines

The ACA includes specific deadlines, and any late reporting or filing can result in penalties for the employer. In this way, HR stakeholders must be aware of important ACA deadlines, including due dates for reporting and the beginning and end of open enrollment.

Deadlines to keep in mind include:

  • Dec. 15, 2018: Open enrollment, which began at the beginning of November, ends. 
  • Jan. 31, 2019: Employers must provide employees with Form 1095-C by this date.
  • Feb. 28, 2019: Paper filing of Form 1094-C/1095-C must be completed.
  • April 1, 2019: Electronic filing must be completed.

Avoiding ACA mistakes: Prepare accordingly

In order to maintain compliance and ensure alignment with the requirements of ACA, HR leaders must make sure that their organization is prepared. Partnering with an expert human resources administration solution provider and incorporating systems that can help streamline ACA reporting, tracking, eligibility and overall compliance is one of the best ways to prevent making common ACA mistakes.

To find out more, check out our website and connect with Secova for a demo of our ACA Management solutions today.