W. Edward Newton Jr., CPA, CFP (R) | 13850 Ballantyne Corporate Place, Suite 500 | Charlotte, NC 28277 | 704-552-8689

 

New Law Sets Jan. 31 W-2 Filing Deadline + Health Care Information Reporting: 7 Things Employers Can Think About Now



New Law Sets Jan. 31 W-2 Filing Deadline; Some Refunds Delayed Until Feb. 15
 

A new federal law moves up the W-2 filing deadline for employers and small businesses to Jan. 31.  The new law makes it easier for the IRS to find and stop refund fraud. It also delays some taxpayer refunds.


Those taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit won't see refunds until Feb.15, at the earliest.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

- Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act. Enacted last December, the new law means employers need to file their copies of Forms W-2 by Jan. 31. These forms also go to the Social Security Administration. The new deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099. Those reporting nonemployee compensation such as payments to independent contractors submitted to the IRS are due Jan. 31. Employers have long faced a Jan. 31 deadline in providing copies of these forms to their employees. That date won't change.

- Different from past deadline. Employers normally had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to send in copies of these forms. The IRS is working with the payroll community and other partners to spread the word.

- Helps stop fraud or errors. The new Jan. 31 deadline will help the IRS to spot errors on returns filed by taxpayers. Having these W-2s and 1099s sooner will make it easier for the IRS to verify legitimate tax returns and get refunds to taxpayers eligible to receive them. The changes will allow the IRS to send some tax refunds faster.

- Some refunds delayed. Certain taxpayers will get their refunds a bit later. By law, the IRS must hold refunds for any tax return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. This means the whole refund, not just the part related to the EITC or ACTC.

- File tax returns normally. Taxpayers should file their returns as they normally do. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, some returns may need further review. Whether or not claiming EITC or ACTC, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to count on getting a refund by a certain date. Consider this fact when making major purchases or paying debts.

- Use IRS.gov online tools. Starting Feb. 15, the best way to check the status of a refund is with the Where's My Refund? tool on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go Mobile App.

Taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers may need their Adjusted Gross Income amount from a prior tax return to verify their identity. They can get a transcript of their return at www.irs.gov/transcript.
 



Health Care Information Reporting: 7 Things Employers Can Think About Now

If your organization is an applicable large employer (ALE), you must report information about the health care coverage you offered to your full-time employees.

As an employer, it's not too early to start thinking about these seven facts related to your information reporting responsibilities under the health care law.

1. The health care law requires ALEs to report information about health insurance coverage offered to its full-time employees and their dependents as well as to the IRS.

2. ALEs must report information about themselves, the coverage they offered if any and the individuals covered under the policy.

3. ALEs are required to furnish a statement to each full-time employee that includes the same information provided to the IRS by January 31, 2017.

4. ALEs that file 250 or more information returns during the calendar year must file the returns electronically.

5. ALEs must file Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage with the IRS annually, no later than February 28, 2017 or March 31, 2017 if filed electronically. Forms 1095-C are filed accompanied by the transmittal form, Form 1094-C.

6. Self-insured employers that are applicable large employers, and therefore are also subject to the information reporting requirements for offers of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, must combine reporting under both provisions by filing a single information return, Form 1095-C, and transmittal, Form 1094-C.

7. The ACA Assurance Testing System opens November 7, 2016 for tax year 2016 testing. Software developers including employers and issuers who passed AATS for tax year 2015 will not have to retest for tax year 2016; the Tax Year Software Packages will be moved into Production status. New participants need to comply with test requirements for tax year 2016. For more information, see Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing ACA Information Returns for Software Developers and Transmitters.

Applicable large employers can find a complete list of resources and the latest news at the Applicable Large Employer Information Center.

Don't hesitate to call us if you need help or want to get started on tax planning for the remainder of 2016 or for 2017 already!  If you have comments or questions on the information in these articles, as usual feel free to call our offices.


 

 

 


 

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Regards, W. Edward Newton Jr., CPA

Certified Public Accountant

 

 

 

 

W. Edward Newton Jr., CPA | Certified Public Accountant

13850 Ballantyne Corporate Place, Suite 500 Charlotte, North Carolina 28277
Phone: (704) 552-8689  |  Email: ed@newtonassociatescpa.com