Update: IRS preparing to enforce employer penalties.
Check out this IRS Q&A beginning at Question 55. Until recently, Question 55 explained simply that the IRS would develop a procedure for notifying employers of their “pay or play” assessments. It looks like this has happened and the IRS will begin enforcing those penalties.
By the end of 2017, the IRS plans to send out notices to employers who may owe a “pay or play” assessment for 2015. The letter will indicate the amount the IRS plans to assess the employer, along with a list of any employees who qualified for a tax credit on the ACA exchange and who did not receive an offer of “affordable” coverage. Employers will generally have 30 days to respond. If you receive this letter, get in touch with your benefits counsel immediately! The IRS will issue a notice and demand for payment to employers who do not timely respond, or who respond but then fail to follow through with conferences with the IRS agent.
IRS “shared responsibility” regulations
These regulations define important concepts for employers such as Minimum Essential Coverage, Minimum Value, and Affordability, and detail employer reporting requirements. Read the regulations here.
The IRS published this Q&A style notice to clarify a number of issues relating to HRAs, affordability, health FSA carryovers, and temporary relief on employer reporting. You can read it here.