If you’re getting Internal Revenue Service notices that flag “errors” in reports you filed with the IRS under the Affordable Care Act, you’re not alone.
Many restaurants are hearing that some Social Security numbers they submitted for employees and their dependents don’t match information in the IRS database. Employers filed their initial ACA-required reports with the IRS last spring, based on 2015 data.
The IRS is issuing so-called “no-match” letters to employers as a result. It’s giving restaurants and other businesses until Dec. 31, 2016, to correct the alleged errors or show you made a good-faith effort to correct the information.
The errors come as no surprise to employers. That's because the ACA reporting rules require employers to collect a huge amount of complex data in ways they never before collected data. Part of the issue: Employers are now responsible for reporting Social Security numbers for employees' dependents and spouses, as well as employees.
In new guidance, the IRS outlines how employers can correct the “no-match” errors. The agency says it will waive penalties related to incorrect Social Security numbers as long as the employer follows the process outlined in the guidance.
“It’s important to correct the 2015 filing errors now because the next round of filings is just around the corner, and penalties will be in effect,” says Robin Goracke, director of health care policy for the National Restaurant Association. “Failure to provide information on employees, and file correct reports in a timely manner with the IRS can lead to significant penalties in 2017.”
The National Restaurant Association continues to work to get Congress to streamline and simplify the employer-reporting rules under the ACA.
Deadlines for the next round of ACA-required paperwork filings are posted below. Visit IRS.gov for further information.