Tax and financial advice from the Silicon Valley expert.

Small employer Obamacare penalty relief

Great news for small employers that reimbursed their employees for the cost of individual health coverage during 2014!

The IRS has announced it will waive the $100 per day, per employee penalty for violating rules under Health Care Reform under Internal Revenue Code Section 4980D in this situation. (IRS Notice 2015-17, February 18, 2015.) The penalty, which could be $36,500 per applicable employee is very onerous. Many tax return preparers will also be relieved that they won’t have to give this terrible news to their clients.

The employers that qualify for the waiver aren’t required to file IRS Form 8928 for 2014.

The relief doesn’t apply to “Applicable Large Employers.”

The IRS is providing this relief to give small employers time to either discontinue the practice of paying for individual medical insurance for their employees or putting a qualified group health plan in place. The waiver applies to payments up to June 30, 2015.

Small business relief from filing accounting change form

The IRS has announced relief in Revenue Procedure 2015-20 for small businesses and real estate investors relating to its new rules for repairs, materials and supplies, and capitalization.

Small business taxpayers with total assets of less than $10 million and average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less in the three years preceding 2014 (2011 – 2013) won’t have to file a change of accounting form, Form 3115, for 2014 after all.

The new rules will generally only apply for small business taxpayers to expenses incurred starting in 2014, and not retroactively as previously announced. The change of accounting will still be required to be made in statements included in the 2014 income tax return.

Some small business taxpayers still might decide to file the change of accounting method form if they want to take advantage of a new rule to claim a tax deduction for the undepreciated cost of a part of a building that was replaced, such as a roof replacement.

Small business taxpayers and real estate investors should still consult with tax advisors familiar with the rules to understand them and to make necessary elections on their 2014 income tax returns.

Tax return preparers and taxpayers will all have a sigh of relief from this announcement. This announcement will also save a forest for the mountain of paper forms that would have been required to be sent to the IRS and reduce the number of extensions for 2014 income tax returns.

We should all thank groups like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that tirelessly worked with the IRS for this modification of the requirements.

Tax and financial advice from the Silicon Valley expert.