Play or Pay: Two New Tax Forms Require Extensive New Data from Employers

Employment expert explains what employers need to know about 1094 and 1095 forms

The Affordable Care Act has changed the face of healthcare in this country, and it has also changed the way that employers manage employees’ healthcare. Under the “Play or Pay” or “Shared Responsibility” mandate, companies with over 100 employees are now required to file the new 1094 and 1095 forms with the IRS. Employers who fail to comply will be subject to tax penalties of up to $3,000 per worker.

Rob Wilson, CEO of Employco says, “These new reporting forms are a departure from the norm for most HR professionals and are very detailed and complex. We were hoping that the IRS would find a way to simplify the instructions. Instead of filling out the total amount spent on healthcare on the W2, it is now required to submit a form on behalf of every employee. You must show how many hours employees have worked and how much was spent on healthcare each month. One of these forms (1094) goes to the IRS, while the other (1095) goes to employees like a traditional W2.”

The mandate requires a fair amount of data that employers might not have been tracking up until this point.  “Many traditional HR professionals do not have access to these new forms, resulting in a growing need for companies to outsource this government requirement,” Wilson says, “It is just one of the many ways that this administration has changed the way that American companies do business.”

This new system poses two major problems; companies will have to retrieve all of the data that is required in order to successfully complete these forms; and the compliance costs associated with obtaining this information.  “When companies all over the country begin to realize what exactly is needed and how much outside agencies are charging to complete these forms for them, many will be outraged.”

“We have heard from a number of sources that agencies will be charging extremely high fees to complete the forms on their behalf. We will not be charging our clients for this service because it is a part of what we do. As a full service HR outsourcing agency, we have direct access to this information. This is just one of the many services we provide to help eliminate these tedious, yet mandatory administrative tasks for businesses of all sizes. Companies who outsource their HRO/PEO to a number of vendors and not just one solutions provider, might get hit the hardest under this new mandate. We are aware of the failure to comply penalties, so we will do everything in our power to protect our clients,” says Wilson.