Employers Will Have 'Sufficient Lead Time' to Prepare Systems for 4980H, Official Says

The Treasury Department cannot offer employers a timetable for when proposed employer “shared-responsibility” rules under the Affordable Care Act will be finalized, but employers will have time to comply with the final rules, a Treasury official said March 1.
“The final regulations will be prospective, and we intend to give people sufficient lead time to comply,” Alan Tawshunsky, Treasury special counsel, said at a tax law conference sponsored by the Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation.
 The department's rulemaking for implementing ACA's employer penalty provisions under tax code Section 4980H included a lengthy front-end process of issuing notices and soliciting comments, all of which were helpful for drafting the proposed regulation, Tawshunsky said.
The downside to that process, he said, has been creating a compressed schedule on the back end, with not much time for employers to prepare for a statutory deadline of Jan. 1, 2014, when the employer shared-responsibility provisions go into effect, he said.
 Employers can rely on the proposed regulation “at least through 2014,” so they have a basis on which to set up computer information systems necessary for complying with the regulation, Tawshunsky said.
Excerpted from a story that ran in Pension & Benefits Daily (3/14/2013).