Although the ACA Play or Pay mandate was effective in 2015, it has been unclear when or how the IRS would collect any penalties assessed under that mandate. Earlier this month, however, the IRS quietly provided its answer by updating an online ACA resource and stating that penalty notices for the 2015 year would be issued in “late 2017.” Under the new procedures, an employer who receives one of these notices will have only 30 days to respond. Employers should act now to maximize their ability to respond timely and minimize inadvertent penalty assessments.
Although it has been more than two years since the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) issued its Obergefell v. Hodges opinion and more than four years since its US v. Windsor opinion, the law is still evolving as it concerns same-sex marriage. It is important for employers who wish to minimize their litigation exposure to determine what “rights, benefits, and responsibilities” same-sex spouses should be extended in the same manner as opposite-sex spouses. While SCOTUS has indicated its belief that Obergefell’s holding and application are clear, recent rulings indicate otherwise . . . which means employers would be well-advised to stay tuned.