Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Form 1095-C Changes for the 2016 Tax Year

It’s almost time to start filing those ACA Forms for 2016!

And for all you applicable large employers (ALEs) out there planning to file Form 1095-C, have we got some news for you:

Form 1095-C is going through a few changes for the 2016 tax year, specifically to the code series used for lines 14 and 16.

Code Series 1 Changes
On line 14 of Form 1095-C, filers use Code Series 1 to indicate information about the coverage they offered to their employees. Last year, this series was coded 1A through 1I for each option, but for 2016 codes 1J and 1K have been added.

So it’s important to note that since code 1I only applied for 2015 transitional relief options, it’s been marked as “reserved” by the IRS and should not be used on any future 1095-C Forms.

The new codes, codes 1J and 1K represent the following scenarios:
  • Code 1J: Minimum essential coverage (MEC) providing minimum value (MV) was offered to the employee; at least MEC was conditionally offered to the employee’s spouse; nothing was offered to the employee’s dependent(s).
  • Code 1K: MEC providing MV was offered to the employee and his/her dependent(s); at least MEC was conditionally offered to the employee’s spouse.

Code Series 2 Changes
On line 16 of Form 1095-C, filers use Code Series 2 to indicate the safe harbor relief that applies to the employee’s scenario, if applicable. Similar to Code Series 1, Code Series 2 initial had codes for 2A through 2I to describe different safe harbor relief options. This year and for future years, code 2I has been “reserved” by the IRS and may no longer be used as it only applied to tax year 2015.

Deadline Changes
Initially, the ACA Forms deadlines were the same as other information return deadlines:
  • January 31, recipient/employee copies must be mailed out
  • February 28/29, IRS copies that are being paper filed must be mailed
  • March 31, IRS copies that are being e-filed must be transmitted
However, last year, the IRS extended the deadlines to give filers a bit of a break with the new forms. That timeline looked like this:
  • March 31, 2016: recipient/employee copies must be mailed out
  • May 31, 2016: IRS copies that are being paper filed must be mailed
  • June 30, 2016: IRS copies that are being e-filed must be transmitted
This year, for 2016 tax year filing, the deadlines look like this:
  • February 28, 2017: IRS copies that are being paper filed must be mailed
  • March 2, 2017: recipient/employee copies must be mailed out
  • March 31, 2017: IRS copies that are being e-filed must be transmitted

Stay tuned with ExpressACAForms for all of your up-to-date ACA information! And don’t forget to sign up with us to e-file your ACA Forms accurately and on time!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Facts on Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, can be pretty overwhelming. And the vast amount of new rules and regulations mean that just about everyone in the US has been affected by it.

Regardless of what happens in the future, Obamacare is still the law of the land, so make sure to keep these facts in mind to stay ACA compliant:

All American Taxpayers Must Get Health Insurance
The individual mandate and employer shared responsibility mandate lay out the rules for how everyone is required to obtain medical insurance that meets minimum essential coverage and how certain applicable large employers (those with 50 or more full-time employees) are now required to provide it to their full-time employees. This minimum essential coverage must also meet a certain minimum value, which is determined based on the federal poverty line each year.

Where You Can Get MEC
In addition to the coverage provided by employers (which is required to meet MEC), the ACA has ensured individuals can find insurance that meets minimum essential coverage through:

When You Can Enroll
Barring a job change or other major life change (like moving or getting married), you can only purchase qualifying coverage during open enrollment. Other exceptions to the open enrollment period are Medicaid and CHIP, which you can enroll in based on your income at any point during the year.

The Obamacare Forms
In order to prove coverage was obtained, providers of the insurance must report to the IRS and their employees (or coverage recipients) details of the coverage offered on Forms 1094-B and 1095-B or Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

And that’s something ExpressACAForms can help with! We help you e-file your ACA Forms with the IRS securely, easily, and quickly. And we can also mail your forms to your recipients for you! Check out our site or give us a call for more information on completing your 2016 ACA return.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Why Employers Face Affordable Care Act Mandates

The Affordable Care Act employer mandates are not to be trifled with.

While there’s a lot of legal and IRS jargon going on in the ACA, the employer mandates basically boil down to:
  1. Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), those with 50 or more full-time employees, must offer full-time employees health insurance or pay a per-employee fine.
  2. The health insurance coverage offered by ALEs must meet minimum essential coverage (MEC) at a set minimum value (MV).
  3. The health insurance coverage offered by ALEs to full-time employees must also be offered to full-time equivalent employees.
  4. The health insurance coverage offered by ALEs must cover the employee’s dependent(s) up to age 26, if applicable.

So what’s the deal? Don’t employers have enough to deal with? Why did the ACA implement these mandates?

Well, believe it or not, one of the main reasons the Affordable Care Act was enacted was to ensure all US taxpayers have access to (ahem) affordable health insurance coverage. And since many employers already provide health benefits to their employees, making it so that the coverage they offer meets certain requirements was one way to get most of America’s taxpayers into the “receives affordable coverage” category.

Lawmakers then added the Affordable Care Act’s safe harbor relief options, which help employers shoulder some of the financial burdens of their new coverage offers.

Stay tuned with ExpressACAForms for more information about the Affordable Care Act and ACA reporting! We’re here to help spread the ACA knowledge and help get your ACA e-filing done. And if you have any questions about either, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat and offer 24/7 assistance through

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The IRS Has Extended the Deadline for Your ACA Recipient Forms

Don’t forget that, along with the 1095-B or 1095-C Forms you’ll file with the IRS, you also have to send a copy to each of your recipients or employees that reflects the health insurance coverage offer they received from you in the previous year!

You may remember that this past year the IRS extended the deadline for these recipient forms from January 31 to March 31 in an effort to give employers and insurance providers more time to get them done correctly. Well, they’ve done something similar for the 2016 tax filing season in early 2017.

Initially, the deadlines for the ACA Forms were set back to their original dates, which are:
  • January 31, 2017, for recipient/employee copies of Form 1095-B/C,
  • February 28, 2017, for paper filing Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS, and
  • March 31, 2017, for e-filing Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS.

But a couple weeks ago, the IRS sent out a notice that they’d be extending the deadline for recipient copies of Form 1095-B and 1095-C from January 31 to March 2, 2017. This gives filers just over a month’s time more to complete and mail these forms to each of their coverage offer recipients.

ExpressACAForms can help make sure you meet this new recipient deadline as well as the e-filing deadline for ACA Forms! Not only do we provide fast and easy (and secure!) e-filing, we also provide postal mailing for our e-file users. That means we’ll send out your recipient forms for you while also e-filing your 1094 and 1095 Forms with the IRS.

If you have any questions about starting with ExpressACAForms or would like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat. We also provide 24/7 customer service through

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Friday, December 2, 2016

ExpressACAForms: A Market Leader in ACA Form Reporting

Did you know that you can e-file your Affordable Care Act Forms right where you get all of your up-to-date ACA information?

(We mean here, at ExpressACAForms, of course!)

This past year, ExpressACAForms was one of the first IRS-authorized e-file providers for the ACA Forms 1094 and 1095. And we put every bit of our online filing and cloud-based software know-how into ensuring we were (and still are) one of the best too!

We’re certainly one of the easiest e-file service providers, at any rate. It only takes five steps - from start to e-file - to have your forms reported to the IRS with ExpressACAForms:

Now, you may be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, so you’re fast, what else you got?” To that, we say, “Just check this out!”

And then we’ll point you to this list of our awesome features that make e-filing a cinch:
  • Bulk upload any file your ACA data is already in.
    • Our bulk upload feature goes beyond those of our competitors. Not only can you upload everything you have at once, but you can do it with whatever file you already have.
    • Got a PDF? Great! Excel spreadsheet? Throw it on in there! XML file? Go crazy! If it’s all together and in one file, you can use it.
  • Cloud-based software means you-can-access-it-anywhere software!
    • With our cloud-based software, anywhere you have access to the internet and a browser, you have access to your ExpressACAForms account and all the information in it.
    • Plus, there’s no need to download any external software onto your computer to access your account!
  • There’s a print center in your account!
    • You can use this to print your official forms whenever you need them! 
  • We also do postal mailing!
    • You know how you’re supposed to mail your 1095 Forms to your employees/recipients? Well, you could, or you could authorize us to do it for you!
    • You’ll still have access to the forms in your print center if you need them, but if you select postal mailing, we’ll print and mail your forms for you from our offices in Rock Hill, SC by the next business day.
  • Plus, you can’t beat our friendly expert customer support team!
    • We’re located right here in the US, so anytime you call in, you’ll be connected with a real person you understand.
    • And we have round-the-clock contact options! Our phone (704-954-8420) and live chat lines are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, and we provide 24/7 email support through

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Get to Know the ACA Penalties

The Affordable Care Act penalties are no joke.

And while there’s been a lot of talk about the ACA going away, it won’t be going away in time to avoid IRS penalties if you don’t file.

So it’s best to arm yourselves with some knowledge about these ACA penalties and how you can avoid them!

Information Reporting Penalties
That’s the official name of the penalties you’d incur from the IRS if you didn’t file. And, boy, are they every bit as impending as they sound:
  • The penalty for failing to file a Form 1095-B or 1095-C with the IRS is $260 per missing form, not to exceed $3,193,000 in a calendar year.
  • The penalty for failing to provide a Form 1095-B or 1095-C to your recipients is $260 per missing form, again, not to exceed $3,193,000 in a calendar year.

And don’t forget, the IRS has this in its rules and regulations for the ACA Forms:
“Special rules apply that increase the per-return and per-statement and total penalties with no maximum limitations if there is intentional disregard of the requirement to file the returns and furnish recipient statements.”

In other words, if you intentionally don’t file, the IRS is going to try to come for a lot more than $3 mil.

But on the Flip Side
Your penalties may be waived if you can prove to the IRS that failure to file was due to reasonable cause (think life-or-death, emergency type situation) and not willful neglect.

You also have ExpressACAForms to help make sure you get those forms filed on time! This is especially important because those penalty fees start going up the longer you wait to file after the deadline.

Just head on over to our website or contact our friendly support team to get started and see how ExpressACAForms can help you avoid ACA penalties. We’re available to help by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST and available 24/7 at!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Form 1095-B Information Requirements

We’ve been talking about Form 1095-C for a while, so why don’t we switch gears and talk a bit about the other ACA Form that’s due in the next couple months: Form 1095-B.

Form 1095-B
Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, is one of the forms created by the Affordable Care Act and the IRS for reporting coverage. Anyone who provides minimum essential coverage to individuals during the calendar year must file a Form 1095-B to report the coverage offered. Of course, this is anyone providing coverage who is not an Applicable Large Employer (ALE), because, as we all know, they file on Form 1095-C.

As with Form 1095-C, a copy of Form 1095-B should be filed with the IRS and a copy should be sent to the individual who received the offer of coverage.

Information Needed for Form 1095-B
So before you dive into working on Form 1095-B, make sure you have the following information:
  • Part I: Responsible Individual. For each recipient of an offer of coverage, you’ll need to have their
  • Part II: Employer-Sponsored Coverage. If you provided employer-sponsored coverage, use Part II to enter information about the sponsoring employer. You’ll need to have their
    • Name,
    • Employer Identification Number (EIN), and
    • Address.
  • Part III: Issuer or Other Coverage Provider. Part III provides information about the coverage provider. For this section, you’ll need the provider’s
    • Name,
    • EIN,
    • Address, and
    • Contact number.
      • Keep in mind that this phone number should be that of someone who can answer questions regarding the coverage information reported.
  • Part IV: Covered Individuals. If your coverage offer extends to the recipient’s spouse and/or dependent(s), you’ll need the following information on them:
    • Name,
    • SSN,
    • Date of birth (if their SSN is unavailable), and
    • The months they were covered.
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