Obamacare Tax Credits: What's it All Mean for Accounting & Finance?

2014 will certainly be a transition year for healthcare in the United States as most of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. Obamacare, take effect Jan. 1. And in 2015, employers with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent (FTE) employees must offer healthcare coverage to full-time employees and their eligible dependents under an employer-sponsored plan that meets ACA standards or face a possible penalty. Accounting and finance departments in all industries are sure to be affected as businesses begin implementing the act.

Business Analysts Needed to Sort Out Obamacare Tax Credits

Although penalties and reporting requirements for the employer mandate component of the act have been delayed until 2015, forward-looking companies are taking advantage of the extra time to get a jump start on their compliance efforts. As companies make decisions about the ACA’s provisions, they will need business analysts and other financial specialists to help them weigh their options. The Obamacare tax implications could be significant with respect to areas such as flexible spending accounts, W-2 form reporting, the act’s tax credit for small businesses and additional taxes on high-cost health plans.

Questions Small Businesses Must Answer

There are many other considerations and following are questions likely to arise:

  • How can a firm determine if it qualifies for the small business Obamacare tax credit?
  • If a company is subject to ACA stipulations, is it more cost effective to offer health insurance coverage to employees or pay the penalty?
  • Does a business need to offer coverage to just its employees or provide family coverage as well?
  • Should a company consider controlling healthcare costs by flexibly managing its workforce through the use of temporary workers, who do not count toward the 50-employee threshold if they're retained for legitimate business reasons?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg for small business owners. If you own a small business, what concerns you?

To find out how your business will be impacted and get answers to some of your ACA-related questions, download Robert Half's What Every Business Needs to Know About the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Tags: News