What should I do if my business receives an ACA penalty notice in 2024?

IRS Penalty Notice for Non-Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

Receiving an ACA (Affordable Care Act) penalty notice from the IRS can be stressful, but it's important to know what steps to take to address it. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand what to do if this happens.

Step 1: Don’t Panic and Read the Notice Carefully.

The first thing to do is to carefully read the penalty notice. This notice, usually called a Letter 226J, will explain why the IRS believes your business owes a penalty under the ACA. It will include:

  • The tax year in question.
  • The proposed penalty amount.
  • A detailed explanation of the basis for the penalty.

Step 2: Verify the Information.

Check the information in the notice against your own records. Look for any discrepancies, such as:

  • Incorrect employee counts.
  • Misclassified full-time employees.
  • Errors in reported offer of coverage.

Step 3: Respond to the IRS.

You have 30 days to respond to Letter 226J. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Complete Form 14764 (Employer Response Form): This form allows you to agree or disagree with the penalty assessment. You can find this form included with your penalty notice.
  2. Provide Supporting Documentation: If you disagree with the penalty, provide documentation to support your case. This could include health coverage offers, employee records, and payroll information.

Step 4: Pay or Contest the Penalty.

  • If You Agree with the Penalty: You can pay the penalty amount indicated in the notice.
  • If You Disagree: Complete Form 14764, indicating your disagreement, and provide supporting documents. Send your response to the address indicated in the letter.

Step 5: Follow Up.

After you submit your response, the IRS will review it and may contact you for more information. It’s important to keep track of deadlines and stay in communication with the IRS.

Additional Help.

If you need more assistance, consider:

Receiving an ACA penalty notice is serious, but by carefully reading the notice, verifying the information, responding appropriately, and seeking additional help if needed, you can manage the situation effectively. Always keep detailed records of your health coverage offers and employee hours to prevent future issues.

Remember, the key is to act promptly and provide accurate information to the IRS. This will help resolve the issue as smoothly as possible.

For more detailed information, you can visit the IRS Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions page.