The Trade Preferences Extension Act, which became law on June 29, 2015, included a provision having nothing to do with extending trade preferences. Flying under the radar of many, the law has doubled per-employee penalties on applicable large employers for failing to file Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns with the IRS starting in 2016, or failing to furnish employees with payee statements, as required by the ACA, regarding their health care coverage.

In the act, Congress amended Internal Revenue Code sections 6721 and 6722 to increase the penalties associated with a failure to properly file information returns or provide payee statements. “Among other things, these increased penalties will apply to Forms W-2 and the 1099-series, as well as ACA-required employer shared responsibility and minimum essential coverage reporting forms,” reports a July 13 Benefits Brief from Groom Law Group.

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