Congressman Asks IRS to Do More Outreach on ACA Requirements for Small Businesses

In a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, Missouri Senator Sam Graves asked the agency to provide more outreach and guidance to small businesses regarding the complex new requirements of the Affordable Care Act.   Graves’ letter states:

“In mid-September, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published numerous draft forms and instructions for compliance with the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act,” Graves wrote.  “These documents are lengthy, complex and confusing to tax preparers who serve America’s small businesses.”

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“As you know, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 30 million people could be subject to the individual mandate penalty, and 23 million of them may qualify for an exemption,” Graves wrote. “This means that millions of small business owners may be forced to rely on these forms and instructions to determine whether they are entitled to an exemption and to claim it. In addition, we are told that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will issue some or all of the hardship exemptions. The forms mention those exemptions and that HHS or the exchanges will issue them, but do not explain when taxpayers must apply for them, when or how that decision will be communicated, what appeals process will be used, and how long the exemption will be effective.”
Similarly, Form 8962, which is required for taxpayers who wish to claim a premium tax credit, includes 12 pages of forms, worksheets and instructions.

“In addition, we have been told by tax preparers for small businesses that the IRS has not released any guidance on the due diligence requirement that tax return preparers will face in the preparation of tax returns affected by the Affordable Care Act this year,” Graves wrote. “Because not all reporting is required this year, preparers must rely on client representations on issues these businesses have never faced before and may not understand.

“Most small businesses do not have tax advisors, attorneys or accountants on their staff,” “They must rely on outside assistance to navigate these complicated tax rules.  On all of the above issues, is the IRS working with HHS to educate small business owners about these new forms and issues?  What steps has the IRS undertaken to listen to the concerns of small business owners and their tax preparers?”

 

TAX ADVICE NOTICE:  we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

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