Recently, the IRS announced 2024 indexing adjustments to the applicable dollar amount used to calculate employer shared responsibility Affordable Care Act penalties.
Although next year might seem a long way off, it’s best to get an early start on determining whether your business is an applicable large employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act. If so, you should also check to see whether the health care coverage you intend to offer next year will meet the criteria that will exempt you from a penalty.
For ACA purposes, an employer’s size is determined in any given year by its number of employees in the previous year. Generally, if your company has 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalents on average during the previous year, you’ll be considered an ALE for the current calendar year. A full-time employee is someone who provides, on average, at least 30 hours of service per week.
An ALE may incur one of the Affordable Care Act penalties if it doesn’t:
The penalty in question is typically triggered when at least one full-time employee receives a premium tax credit for buying individual coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace (commonly referred to as an “exchange”).
The adjusted penalty amounts per full-time employee for failures occurring in the 2024 calendar year will be:
The IRS uses Letter 226-J to inform ALEs of their potential liability for an employer shared responsibility penalty. Along with Letter 226-J, the IRS includes a response form, Form 14764 (“ESRP Response”). This form allows an ALE to inform the IRS whether it agrees with the proposed penalty. A response is generally due within 30 days. In preparation for a prompt review, be on the lookout for this letter, and respond if the IRS contacts you.
Careful compliance with the ACA remains critical for companies that qualify as ALEs. Growing small businesses should be particularly wary as they become midsize ones. Our of our Mundelein accountants can answer any questions you may have about your obligations. Additionally, we can suggest ways to better manage the costs of health care benefits.