Monday, August 29, 2016

Are You Prepared for Next Year's ACA Changes?

Hey, there! Remember this past Affordable Care Act filing season? Got it? Good. Now forget everything you knew about ACA filing.

Well, not everything. The basics are still mostly the same, but there are a lot of changes coming with the 2016 filing season, which begins in January. For starters, one of the biggest:

Date Changes
That’s right: this year (and forevermore), you won’t have the first six months of the year to get your ACA return just right. The IRS, in an attempt to relieve some of the first-time ACA filing stress for filers and themselves, extended the actual ACA deadlines this past year. Next year, they’ll be back in their rightful places: January 31 (for the recipient forms), February 28 (for paper filers), and March 31 (for e-filers).

No More Leniency
The IRS was pretty generous last year; in addition to extending the deadlines, they also operated under a more lenient late-filing policy. No such luck this year. Last year, the policy was if you could prove you made good faith efforts to file on time, your late filing penalties would be forgiven. This year, it’s the same as every other IRS deadline: you don’t file on time, you pay the fine.

Penalties Are Going Up
The penalties for not providing (or not providing enough) insurance are going up as well. The IRS had a few other safety nets in place this year as far as insurance offers were concerned - only having to offer to 70% of your employees rather than 95%, for example, as well as other safe harbor reliefs. This year, those begin phasing out. Since the whole point of the ACA is to make sure every taxpaying American has access to good health insurance, the penalties stand to get more severe the longer Applicable Large Employers don’t provide coverage.

But You’ve Still Got ExpressACAForms
But the good news is you’ve still got us! One of the frontrunners in ACA e-filing for the 2015 tax year, ExpressACAForms helps make your ACA filing and compliance easier than ever. And we’re around all year too, not just during ACA season, to help answer any questions or get you started with ExpressACAForms.

Give us a call. We’re in the office Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, and our phone number’s (704) 839-2270. We also offer live chat assistance while we’re in the office and 24/7 email support ( for when we’re not.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Brush Up on Your ACA Knowledge

There’s no better time than the present to brush up on your ACA knowledge. Mostly because, at this present moment, you’ve come across the ExpressACAForms blog on the subject!

Listen, we figure you’re in one of three situations with your ACA filing: 1. You’re done with your 2015 filing and are trying to forget about 2016’s until it’s time to file 2016’s.; 2. You’re still making corrections and trying to complete your 2015 return.; or 3. You’re just blowing it off altogether.

In all of these situations, you stand to benefit from a little ACA know-how. That’s where we come in.

Below are a few tips about ACA filing that you’ll want to keep in mind - yes, even now, in late August. January will be here before we know it, and the filing period for ACA will be shorter than it was this year. So you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared by staying up-to-date on ACA info.

  • For starters, to elaborate on our last point there, for the 2015 tax year, the IRS extended the due dates of ACA Forms 1094 and 1095 by two or more months. So far, for the 2016 tax year, they have no plans to do so, so your forms will have to be e-filed by March 31, three months earlier than this past year. Additionally, your recipient copies will need to be sent out by January 31, along with your 1099s and W-2s.
  • Applicable Large Employers, those with 50 or more full-time employees, are still required to offer health insurance coverage to those employees. This coverage must meet the minimum essential coverage (MEC) requirements as stated by the ACA, and you’ll have to pay a penalty for each uncovered employee. This penalty is slated to increase each year from here on out, so you may want to set up a plan sooner rather than later.
  • If you have more than 250 forms to file, you’re required by the IRS to e-file. You’ll need to make sure you have a system or program in place (like ExpressACAForms!) to handle getting your forms to the IRS.
  • If you file late or not at all, the IRS is issuing penalties in the coming year. They were lenient this past year, forgiving late fees for those who could prove they made the effort to file on time. That won’t be their policy anymore, however, as we’re past the first year of filing.
And if you filed with ExpressACAForms last year, the good news is you’re already a few steps ahead! Since our program is online and cloud-based, rather than a software you have to download and update each year, all of your filing information is saved from year to year. So, when it’s time to file again, all you need to do is update any changes from the year and transmit your return. It’s that simple!

As always, if you have any further questions regarding ACA e-filing, feel free to give us a call! We’re in the office Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, at (704) 839-2270 and on live chat through our website. We also offer 24/7 customer assistance through our email,

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Monday, August 15, 2016

ExpressACAForms E-filing Features: Postal Mailing

When you plan to e-file your Affordable Care Act Return Forms 1094 and 1095, you probably don’t prepare for much mailing. After all, you’re set up to do everything online - why should you have to mail something out too?

Well, regardless of whether you file your ACA Forms with the IRS by paper or electronically, you do still have some mailing to do. Form 1095 (B and C) has to be mailed to your employees or coverage recipients as well as the IRS. And, starting in 2017, they have to be mailed out two months before your forms are due with the IRS.

Form 1095 Recipient Copies
If you’re an ALE (Applicable Large Employer) filing Form 1095-C for all the employees you offered and provided coverage for throughout the year, you have to send a copy of that form to each of your employees. Likewise, if you’re a healthcare coverage provider filing 1095-B Forms for your clients and your clients’ employees, you need to send a copy of Form 1095-B to each individual offered coverage.

Now pay attention because here’s the important part: these recipient copies of Form 1095-B and 1095-C have to be mailed out by January 31 of the year following the year you’re reporting. So the 1095 Forms for the 2016 tax year must be sent by January 31, 2016.

This past year everyone got a break when the deadline was extended to March 31. However, since individuals need their copy of Form 1095 to complete their personal taxes, the IRS has set it up so that, from now on, Form 1095 is sent out with their W-2s, 1099s, or any other tax documents.

Postal Mailing with ExpressACAForms
At ExpressACAForms, we want to make things simple for you. In fact, we bet you’re probably e-filing so you don’t have to deal with stacks and stacks of paper, right? That’s why ExpressACAForms offers postal mailing, an option where you select for us to send out your Form 1095 recipient copies for you, and all for about what you’d pay for postage yourself.

With the postal mailing feature, ExpressACAForms guarantees your forms are postmarked and mailed by the January deadline. In fact, they’re usually mailed by the next business day after you send in your request.

To set up your order, simply select the postal mailing option on your checkout screen after you’ve entered in all of your ACA filing information. Once you pay and transmit your forms to the IRS, we’ll be alerted that your forms are ready to be sent to your recipients. So, in that way, there’s another added bonus to the postal mailing feature: by utilizing it, your ACA filing with the IRS gets done two months ahead of schedule. Think of how much more you can get done with that extra time!

If you have any questions about the postal mailing feature or e-filing your ACA return with ExpressACAForms, feel free to contact our wonderful support team! We’re US-based and in the offices all year long, not just during tax season. Give us a call at (704) 839-2270 or send us a live chat or email to, and we’ll be happy to help!

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Monday, August 8, 2016

The Adventures of Ace: Ace's Bar-B-Que

Welcome, welcome!

It’s a hot, sunny August day here in the land of ExpressACAForms, and you’re just in time for the bar-b-que Ace is throwing to celebrate (after taking some time for a little R&R, of course) the first ever ACA deadline!

“Ace sure does like throwing barbeques,” Doc said between bites. “He even got a new grill just for the occasion!”

“Well, Doc,” Ace replied, “it’s the perfect time! It’s still warm out, we’ve got a few weeks of summer left. Plus football season is right around the corner, so we’ll grill out a lot for tailga-”

“No need to convince me,” Doc interrupted. “Your burgers are doing a good enough job of that!”

“So, Ace,” an ACA filer and honored barbeque guest began. “Are we really done with 2015 ACA filing? I mean, there isn’t anything else we need to do, is there?”

“Unless you’re still working on any corrections, and as long as your forms have been accepted by the IRS, the 2015 ACA filing is over!” Ace replied amidst cheers.

“But don’t forget,” Ace continued as the clapping died down, “you can still access your ExpressACAForms accounts at any time during the year to go over any information to prep yourselves for next year. And my sidekicks work all year long, not just during tax season, so you can always call them if you need any assis-”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s great Ace,” Doc interrupted. “But, uhh, we’ve run out of ketchup. Could you be a pal and pop over to the supermarket?”

“Oh! Of course! Can’t have a barbeque without ketchup! In the meantime, if you need anything, call my sidekicks,” Ace began as he was taking off.

“Ace, I don’t think they’ll be able to help with barbecue-related things!” Doc called after him.

While we can’t guarantee we can help with your barbeque-related needs, we are here for your ACA ones! If you have any questions, give ExpressACAForms a call. We’re available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET at (704) 839-2270 and through live chat through our website. We also offer 24/7 email assistance at

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Monday, August 1, 2016

What Happens at ExpressACAForms After the Deadline?

It’s officially been a whole month since the 2015 Affordable Care Act filing deadline, and - believe it or not - ExpressACAForms hasn’t slowed down!

Sure, the actual number of forms we’re e-filing with the IRS for our clients has gone down; that’s to be expected when you have awesome clients who file on time. But the work we put into making ExpressACAForms the best e-filing option for Forms 1094 and 1095 hasn’t waned a bit.

We’re Still Helping with Corrections
Some of the errors that cause ACA forms rejections can get complex and time-consuming, especially TIN mismatches. Understandably, you’re already frustrated because you were sure the information you submitted the first time around was correct. And sometimes, even after submitting corrections, you can get another rejection because of a discrepancy in the IRS’s records.

Helping you through the entire correction process is one of the reasons the EACA customer support team is in our South Carolina based office year-round. We want to help make sure your forms are filed and finished, beginning to end, through all the corrections.

We’re Reading Up for Next Year
While the ACA deadline extension this year was a welcome relief for filers, e-file providers, and the IRS alike, it does mean that there’s now less time left for everyone to get themselves together for the 2016 filing season. Then, once January rolls around, we have to deal with the fact that we have half as much time to get ACA filings complete in 2017.

That’s why we’re keeping up to date with IRS news and data regarding 2016 ACA filing. At ExpressACAForms, you can always be sure we’ve got the latest, most secure option in IRS-authorized e-filing software.

We’re Coming Up with New and Better Ways to Help You
Just being up to date with IRS requirements and offering correction assistance aren’t enough to make ExpressACAForms the best and most innovative in ACA e-filing technology. Which is why we also make small tweaks to the program (don’t worry, you can still access and use everything in your account during these updates) during our “off season.” Additionally, keep an eye out for our year-round, full-service Affordable Care Act compliance and e-filing program (coming soon!), which offers even more ACA tools than EACA!

As we said earlier, if you have any questions, the EACA support team is here to help! Give us a call (704-839-2270) or send us a live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT. Or send us an email anytime to

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