Will Obamacare Penalties Kill Your Small Business Clients?

drug in syringe on white background

Fines run $100 per day, per employee.

By Stephen L. Nelson, CPA
and Elizabeth C. Nelson, CPA

Small Business and the Affordable Care Act

By now, many of your small business clients understand they don’t have to provide employees with health insurance. The employer mandate starts when a firm employs 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees.

But here’s an awkward follow-up question: Do your small business clients understand that many of the ACA’s rules still apply to them and that they may still be vulnerable to the ACA’s 4980D excise tax penalty—which runs $100 per day per employee?

LEARN MORE: Small Businesses and the Affordable Care Act: What Every Tax Practitioner Needs to Know (55-page PDF digital download)

Can We Talk IRC Code Sections?

People sometimes hear references to the 4980D penalty and scoff, say you can’t believe everything you hear on talk radio or read at some blog. So let’s look at the actual Internal Revenue Code Section in question.

Here are the first few sentences of IRC Sec 4980D:

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Rick Telberg

Rick Telberg

About the Author

Rick Telberg is a veteran analyst, advisor, commentator, editor and publisher. He brings a unique background and perspective to research and advisory services for the professional services community.

Mr. Telberg may well be the accounting profession's most widely-known commentator through his long associations with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Accounting Today magazine, and today, CPA Trendlines.

As an expert in management, marketing, media and e-commerce, Mr. Telberg has served as Senior Editorial Director of Pro2Net Corp., now www.smartpros.com, and as Director of Online Content at CPA2Biz, www.cpa.com.

Previously, Mr. Telberg served as the early Editor-in-Chief of Accounting Today, and as Vice President/Group Publisher at Thomson Financial (now SourceMedia), overseeing Practical Accountant, Accounting Technology, and what is now AccountingToday.com.

Mr. Telberg was presented with a special citation by the National Society of Accountants for service to the profession and has served on a variety of boards and steering committees, including BKR International and the IBM Small Business Advisory Council. He is a graduate of New York University.

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