IRS, SSA highlight employer reporting under ACA

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires an applicable large employer (ALE) to offer its full-time employees and their dependents minimum essential coverage that is affordable and provides minimum value. To assist ALEs, the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have highlighted in the Summer 2015 edition of the SSA/IRS Reporter the employer reporting requirements under the ACA. The agencies reported that, while employers should already be tracking the data required to determine their status under the ACA and complete the new ACA reporting forms, they may not have determined whether the payroll, HR, or benefits department will be responsible for the filings. Regardless of which department ultimately completes the forms, they will have to coordinate the process as each of them may control the system housing some of the data to be reported.

Payroll, HR, benefits. According to the IRS and SSA, payroll, HR and the benefits departments will have to synchronize their operations in order to provide coverage in a hassle-free manner. While payroll will have data on the W-2 wages or rate of pay to ascertain the affordability of the offered coverage if the employer relies on one of the affordability safe harbors, HR or benefits will likely have the data on the lowest-cost, self-only minimum value coverage the employer offered. Beyond this basic calculation, these departments must be able to work together. For instance, HR may determine if a full-time new hire was in a waiting period before an offer of coverage was made, while a time and attendance system may help decide if an employee with shifting schedules qualified as full-time during the reporting period.

SOURCE: SSA/IRS Reporter, Summer 2015.

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