Daily Tax Update - March 6, 2014: IRS Issues Final Regs on Healthcare Coverage Information Reporting and Minimum Essential Coverage

THE DAILY TAX UPDATE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON A PERIODIC BASIS UNTIL CONGRESS RETURNS ON MARCH 11TH

IRS ISSUES FINAL REGS ON HEALTHCARE COVERAGE INFORMATION REPORTING AND MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE: The IRS has released final rules to implement the information reporting provisions for insurers and certain employers under the Affordable Care Act that take effect in 2015. 

The final regulations (TD 9610) provide guidance to employers that are subject to the information reporting requirements under section 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) (generally, employers with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees).

The IRS also released final regulations (TD 9660) providing guidance to providers of minimum essential health coverage that are subject to the information reporting requirements of section 6055 of the Code.  The regulations state, “Health insurance issuers, certain employers, and others that provide minimum essential coverage to individuals must report to the IRS information about the type and period of coverage and furnish the information in statements to covered individuals. These final regulations affect health insurance issuers and carriers, employers, governments, and other persons that provide minimum essential coverage to individuals.”

The Department of the Treasury released a fact sheet on the final regulations.

The regulations can be accessed via: TD 9661.pdf & TD 9660.pdf

TREASURY SECRETARY LEW TESTIFIES BEFORE WAYS AND MEANS ON FY 2015 BUDGET PROPOSAL:  Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee to testify on the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal.

In his opening remarks, Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) commended theAdministration for “proposing ideas to reform parts of the code and close loopholes.”  Camp expressed concern, however, that the President’s plan would raise taxes and would not “create a stronger economy.” 

Camp said, “I recognize there is some area of agreement between us.  Clearly, we can all agree that the tax code is a wet blanket on the economy and makes it harder for employers to create new jobs and invest in the United States.  By lowering the corporate rate, we put U.S. companies on a level playing field – making them and their workers more competitive.  I am encouraged that the President has joined the conversation on the need to overhaul our corporate tax code.  By closing loopholes, my plan lowers rates for businesses of all size, and I look forward to hearing from the Administration on how we can work together on that front. While I commend the Administration for proposing ideas to reform parts of the code and close loopholes, I am disappointed that the Administration turns its back on small businesses, which make up over half of all business activity in the country.”  Camp added, “Furthermore, increasing taxes to pay for new spending and a larger government, which this budget does, is not real tax reform, and it certainly isn’t a plan that will create a stronger economy.  The differences are clear: while your plan raises taxes by $1.8 trillion, my tax reform plan would create 1.8 million new jobs.  And, maybe that is what this really boils down to.  Despite the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression, this Administration is still focused on how many dollars it can bring into Washington instead of how many jobs it can create for American workers.”

Chairman Camp asked Secretary Lew about which tax extenders should be made permanent but not offset. Lew said, “It actually doesn't make a difference whether it's in the baseline or not, in terms of what the final bottom line is. A budget has to cover all of the spending and revenue flows in it.”  Camp expressed support for making small business expensing under Section 179 and the R&D tax credit permanent.  Lew added, “We totally agree that there are items that should be made permanent, and what's policy and what's baseline is something we're happy to, to talk about.”