As lawyers in the field know, a boutique tax firm has many of the same kinds of issues as their fellow professionals -- in the medical field. That's right, a firm that specializes in criminal law will, they fervently hope, never have to deal with criminal acts in their own house. But much like a doc with high blood pressure, a tax firm is often going to have to take its own advice. The new ACA ALE requirements are great examples.
As tax legal professionals also know, advising your clients on changes brought about by the ACA is crucial. As they might be slightly less aware, ACA changes are also crucial for their own business if they fall within the definition of an "applicable large employer" (ALE) under the Act. For 2016, boutique tax firms with more than 50 full time employees are going to have to advise clients wisely and then take their own medicine. Fortunately, a new special report from Thomson Reuters Checkpoint can help. (Disclaimer, Thomson Reuters is the parent company of FindLaw.)
What Is Checkpoint?
Let's start from the beginning. What exactly is Checkpoint and why might it be important to attorneys who work for tax firms or in the tax group of a larger firm? To put it simply, if you rolled up a few of the tools in the Thomson Reuters toolbox like Practice Point and Westlaw into one big Swiss Army Knife of tax, you would have Checkpoint. Imagine a tool that allows you to create a dashboard, jump right to the research sources you need, and view curated content like the latest legislative updates and information from Reuters, all in one place. That would be one small part of Checkpoint.
The ACA ALE Special Report
But how does this relate to what you need to know now about the 2016 requirements from the ACA? In their Special Report, Checkpoint experts review the key issues around IRS Forms 1094-B/1095-B and 1094-C/1095-C. These are the forms used to report offers of and enrollment in health care coverage for effected employers. The information covered in these forms is due in the first half of 2016. That leaves little time for your clients (and your firm itself) to become familiar with the requirements and gather the information needed if you want to avoid the employer shared responsibility penalties.
To help you work this problem, the report runs through a summary of the ACA provisions, penalties, and forms. It then covers transmission of the forms to the IRS, deadlines, and provides access to several resources from form workbooks to webinars. Not bad for 8 pages.
What to Do Next
As noted, we lawyers need to take our own advice. If your firm is a large employer, you need to complete your own forms. Having a download of accessible information, not to mention a tool like Checkpoint, can help you accomplish these tasks and make your life easier. And we are about the easier -- because the IRS is not.
Download the Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Special Report: Health Care Reform Information Reporting Requirement For Employers Forms 1094/1095 now.