The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is creating headaches for families and businesses alike. Owen & LoBello Law Firm can provide legal assistance when questions about this new program arise:
1. Payroll, Taxes and Fees: The ACA requires employers to report information and collect new taxes. Attorneys may be needed to implement these changes and represent employers who have not implemented the changes correctly. Some of the reports and taxes include the 0.90% Medicare Tax, The Patient-Centered Outcome Research Fee, The Transition Reinsurance Fee, and Employer reporting of minimum essential coverage.
2. Whistleblower Protections: The ACA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and created new provisions for employers. An employer may not take adverse action against an employee if the employee helps in the investigation and reporting of a violation of Title I of ACA.
3. Workforce Classifications: Businesses with more than 50 employees are required to provide health insurance to employees (implementation dates and regulations vary based on the size of employer), and will need to properly determine the status of their employees as between full time, part time, seasonal, independent contractor and perhaps some other classification. Misclassifications can be costly if the employer is forced to defend against enforcement actions that challenge whether the employer’s assigned classification is correct.
4. Businesses: Businesses are not in compliance will face tax penalties. Businesses and families alike should consult with counsel to determine how to avoid the penalties.
For Individuals and Employees
1. Individuals: The IRS is charged with collecting penalties under ACA. Penalties for tax year 2014 will be collected when taxes are filed in early 2015. By law, if you do not pay your federal income tax, the IRS can seize your assets and garnish your wages. However, ACA limits the IRS’s normal enforcement power, forbidding these procedures for collecting the ACA penalty tax. It appears the only way the IRS can collect an unpaid penalty tax is to withhold a tax refund. The tax return is also the method for claiming an exemption or hardship in order to avoid a tax penalty.
2. Domestic Law Issues: The ACA requires almost everyone to obtain health insurance or face a penalty. This creates new headaches and opportunities for families and couples considering divorce. In family law cases, issues such as dependent benefits, cost-sharing and tax benefit sharing are important to the clients. The ACA will have a direct impact on these issues. ACA must be taken into account to maximize the benefit to families. Also, some existing family court support orders were crafted without the ACA in mind. This may create unintended consequences.
There are many different factors facing families and businesses alike when it comes to the ACA. Seeking advice from Owen & LoBello Law Firm can prevent trouble from happening in the first place. Give us a call if you have any questions about how this new Federal program affects you, your livelihood, or the ones you love.