New IRS Resource Helps Employers Understand Health Care Law

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The new ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers (ALE) page on IRS.gov features information and resources for employers of all sizes on how the health care law may affect them if they fit the definition of an applicable large employer.

The web page includes the following sections:

  • What’s Trending for ALEs;
  • How to Determine If You Are an ALE;
  • Resources for Applicable Large Employers; and
  • Outreach Materials.

Visitors to the new page will find links to:

  • Detailed information about tax provisions, including information reporting requirements for employers;
  • Questions and answers; and
  • Forms, instructions, publications, health care tax tips, flyers and videos.

Although the vast majority of employers will not be affected, the IRS advises employers to determine now if they are an applicable large employer. According to the IRS, if a business averaged at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, during 2014, it is most likely an ALE for 2015.

If there are fewer than 50 full-time employees, the business may be considered an applicable large employer if it shares a common ownership with other employers. As an applicable large employer, the IRS says the business should be taking steps now to prepare for the coming filing season.

In 2016, applicable large employers must file an annual information return – and provide a statement to each full-time employee – reporting whether they offered health insurance, and if so, what insurance they offered their employees.

If a business is filing 250 or more information returns for 2015, it must file the returns electronically through the ACA Information Reports system. According to the IRS, businesses should review draft Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns, now for information on the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for returns that must transmitted in 2016.

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Anthony Samson has been the CalChamber policy advocate for environmental regulation, housing and land use issues since November 2013. He previously was an attorney at Harrison, Temblador, Hungerford, and Johnson LLP, a statewide law firm that specializes in mining, land use, and natural resources law. He earned a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law, where he served as the articles editor of the Michigan State Law Review.