IRS Confirms ACA Mandate Penalties Still Effective
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Chief Counsel has recently issued several information letters regarding the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual and employer mandate penalties. These letters clarify that:
Employer shared responsibility penalties continue to apply for applicable large employers (ALEs) that fail to offer acceptable health coverage to their full-time employees (and dependents); and
Individual mandate penalties continue to apply for individuals that do not obtain acceptable health coverage (if they do not qualify for an exemption).
These letters were issued in response to confusion over President Donald Trump’s executive order directing federal agencies to provide relief from the burdens of the ACA.
These information letters clarify that the ACA’s individual and employer mandate penalties still apply. Individuals and ALEs must continue to comply with these ACA requirements, including paying any penalties that may be owed.
Senate Rejects ACA Repeal Efforts
In the early morning hours of July 28, 2017, members of the U.S. Senate voted 49-51 to reject a “skinny” version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA).
This was the final vote of the Senate’s 20-hour debate period, and effectively ended the Republicans’ current efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. However, the skinny repeal bill may be reintroduced at some point in the future.
What are the next steps for employers?
Because the Senate was unable to pass any ACA repeal or replacement bill, the ACA remains current law, and employers must continue to comply with all applicable ACA provisions.
Updated Form I-9 Required Beginning Sept. 18
On July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued an updated version of Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Under federal law, every employer that recruits, refers for a fee or hires an individual for employment in the United States must complete a Form I-9.
The updated form replaces a version that was issued in 2016. Employers may continue using the 2016 form until Sept. 17, 2017. Exclusive use of the updated form is expected by Sept. 18, 2017. The new form expires on Aug. 31, 2019.
The updated Form I-9 includes revisions to the instructions and to the list of acceptable documents, but does not include substantive revisions for completing the Form I-9. Visit the USCIS website for more information regarding USCIS or the new Form I-9.