With tax time fast approaching, you need to make sure your business is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The act can be confusing for companies that need to keep track of changes to ensure that they meet employee coverage mandates, but sole proprietors have to prove they have acceptable coverage as well. To help, Intuit, the online accounting and tax software company, has launched a free online Affordable Care Act Resource Center that provides answers to many common questions in one place.
While much of the information is geared toward tax professionals, the portal has a dedicated small business channel that business owners, too, might find useful. It contains a summary of the law's provisions, including new phase-in periods for the mandate, basics on tax penalties, and information about the tax credit available to small business owners who provide health care plans to their employees.
For example, there's a section outlining the law's provisions for 2015, which require businesses with 100 or more full-time employees to offer qualified health plans, as well as for 2016, when businesses with just 50 or more full-time employees are required to do so.
Additionally, the portal explains what types of workers qualify as full-time employees, shows which Internal Revenue Service forms they need to file in order to prove compliance or to receive a credit, and offers information about penalties. There's also key information about the coverage employees are required to have if they aren't covered through work, in order to comply with the law's mandate for individuals.
Lastly, Intuit's ACA center has a number of interactive tools for tax professionals that business owners may find useful, offered through its Lacerte, ProSeries, and Intuit Tax Online services.
While both the IRS and federal government have their own portals dedicated to the ACA, with plenty of information business owners need, Intuit's portal is a helpful addition for entrepreneurs who want to make sure they've complied with the law by April 15.
"New ACA tax forms are one of the biggest tax changes for businesses since the W-2, and there is a lot of misinformation out there," an Intuit spokeswoman told Inc. in an email. "[Intuit] created the Affordable Care Act Resource Center to provide business owners and tax professionals with a central place to get the right, up-to-date information."