The short-lived American Health Care Act (AHCA) legislation came to an anticlimactic end, as Congress neglected to hold a vote on the bill after failing to gain adequate support.
President Trump’s executive order to “ease the burdens” of the ACA still stands, and executive agencies including the IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services will continue to act upon it. So far, the IRS has made slight adjustments to individual reporting. However, the IRS does not have the discretion to eliminate reporting and associated penalties for businesses and employers altogether due to constitutional restraints.
Although neither the IRS nor HHS has announced any modifications to reporting by Applicable Large Employers, many have speculated about possible changes that may be implemented:
- Extension of “good faith” reporting
- Reduction in enforcement of reporting penalties
- Granting widespread exemptions from or “delaying” the employer and individual mandates
- Relaxing electronic reporting validations
These examples illustrate the nature of regulatory changes that may be proposed in the future. Reporting obligations were discussed when the AHCA was being constructed; as such, the IRS will likely maintain these requirements in their current forms for the foreseeable future.
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