In the News: Little-known law raises penalties for Obamacare reporting violations

Let’s face it – reporting under the US Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) is daunting enough, but now the stakes have been raised even higher thanks to a new law that very few folks have actually heard about (but that could easily trip up even the savvy employer!)

The law, known as the Trade Preferences Extension Act, which was recently signed into effect by President Obama, significantly increases the penalties for violating the reporting requirements of the ACA. Under the regulation, the IRS can slap firms with even higher penalties for failing to file the ACA reporting forms (that’s Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C) or for filing those forms with incorrect or incomplete info. Specifically, the per-form penalty increased from $100 originally to a whopping $250, with penalties now capped at $3 million (from a previous cap of $1.5 million).

Further, the law states that if the issue is due to “intentional disregard,” the per-form fine will be upped to $500 and there is no cap on the penalties a business can rack up. However, the IRS noted that if employers can prove they made a good faith effort to comply with the 2015 reporting requirements, they won’t impose the penalties (although it should be noted that an “untimely” filed form does not meet this good-faith requirement).