IRS starts to enforce Obamacare rules

IRS starts to enforce Obamacare rules | Insurance Business

IRS starts to enforce Obamacare rules
Even as the Trump administration tries to find ways around the Affordable Care Act, the Internal Revenue Service has finally begun to enforce one of its most controversial rules: the employer mandate.

Thousands of businesses may soon hear from the IRS that they owe penalties because they didn’t offer their employees qualifying health insurance. The first batch of notices is headed to companies with at least 100 full-time employees.

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Large companies – those with 50 or more workers, according to government reckoning – are required to offer their employees affordable health insurance. The alternative – at least in theory – was paying stiff tax penalties, according to a New York Times report. But the IRS has held off on assessing those penalties so far, saying it needed more time to build its compliance systems. But now, apparently, the honeymoon is over.

“As the IRS has publicly stated, the agency is obligated to enforce the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility provision,” IRS spokesman Bruce Friedland told the Times.

In his very first executive order, President Donald Trump directed government agencies to waive, defer or delay enforcing as much of the ACA as possible, the Times reported. Many agencies, however, find themselves legally compelled to enforce it. The Treasury said this week that it will have to enforce the letter of the law even though it objects to the employee mandate.

“Treasury lawyers see no ground for the secretary to direct the IRS not to collect the tax,” the department said in a statement. “The ACA’s employer mandate unfortunately remains the law of the land.”

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