ACA tracking and reporting guideline to eliminate stress and potential penalties

Navigating ACA Reporting: A Comprehensive Guide for Small Business Owners

Affordable Care Act Aca And Stethoscope On A Table.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought significant changes to the healthcare landscape in the United States, including requirements for employers to track and report healthcare coverage information for their employees to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For small business owners, understanding and complying with ACA reporting obligations can be a daunting task. However, with the right approach, tools, and resources, small business owners can successfully track and report ACA information to the IRS.

Understanding ACA Reporting Requirements:

ACA reporting requires employers to provide detailed information about the health coverage they offer to full-time employees. This includes tracking employee hours, determining eligibility for coverage, and reporting coverage information to the IRS using specific forms.

Steps to Successfully Track and Report ACA Information:

  1. Determine Employer Size and Status: Small business owners must first determine whether they are subject to ACA reporting requirements based on the size of their workforce and other factors. Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees are generally required to comply with ACA reporting requirements.
  2. Track Employee Hours and Eligibility: Accurately tracking employee hours is crucial for determining eligibility for health coverage under the ACA. This includes tracking both full-time and part-time employee hours to ensure compliance with ACA regulations.
  3. Use Appropriate IRS Forms: Employers subject to ACA reporting requirements must use specific IRS forms to report coverage information. This includes Form 1095-C for employers offering self-insured health coverage and Form 1094-C for employers not offering self-insured coverage.
  4. Complete and Submit Forms Timely: Small business owners must complete and submit ACA reporting forms to the IRS by the applicable deadlines. This includes providing Form 1095-C to employees by January 31 each year and submitting Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to the IRS by the appropriate deadlines.
  5. Consider Outsourcing Reporting: Due to the complexity of ACA reporting requirements, many small business owners choose to outsource reporting to third-party vendors or software solutions. These solutions can help streamline the reporting process and ensure accurate compliance with IRS regulations.

Tools and Resources for ACA Reporting:

Small business owners can leverage various tools and resources to help track and report ACA information successfully. This includes ACA reporting software, payroll systems with ACA tracking capabilities, and guidance from tax professionals or legal experts familiar with ACA regulations.


Successfully navigating ACA reporting is essential for small business owners to comply with healthcare regulations and avoid potential penalties. By understanding reporting requirements, leveraging appropriate tools and resources, and seeking assistance when needed, small business owners can navigate ACA reporting with confidence and ensure compliance with IRS regulations.