Self-Help Tools for ACA Requirements

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The Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service, has several tools available for individuals and employers to help them estimate Affordable Care Act (ACA) related premium tax credits and potential penalty payments.  With open enrollment season upon us, these tools might come in handy.

  1. The Employer Shared Responsibility Provision Estimator can help employers understand how the Employer Mandate works and if the provision may apply to them. For example, an organization can use the tool to determine whether it is an Applicable Large Employer subject to the Employer Mandate and, if it is, the maximum potential penalty if could be subject to if it fails to offer affordable, minimum value coverage to its ACA defined full-time employees.
  2. Small Business Health Care Tax Credit (SBHCTC) Estimator can help small businesses determine eligibility for the SBHCTC and estimate the credit a small business taxpayer might receive. Eligible small employers can use the SBHCTC to help them provide health insurance coverage to their employees.
  3. The Individual Shared Responsibility Provision Payment Estimator can help individuals estimate the Individual Mandate penalty they may have to pay for not having minimum essential coverage during the year.
  4. The Premium Tax Credit Change Estimator can help individuals estimate how their eligibility for premium tax credits may change during the year due to income or family size changes.

The tools also define key terms and provide links to additional resources.  It’s important to remember, however, these tools only provide estimates for premium tax credits and potential penalty payments rather than accurate calculations.