The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) endorsed bipartisan legislation introduced today by Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) to help individuals applying for Exchange tax credits and amend the reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"RILA applauds Representatives Black and Thompson for their leadership in introducing the Commonsense Reporting and Verification Act of 2015, which will bring clarity to the health Exchange subsidy process and provide employers with relief under the ACA reporting requirements," said Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs at RILA. "For four years, RILA has provided policy recommendations to the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to streamline the process and lessen compliance and cost burdens on retailers. We are pleased that Congress is stepping in to address this important issue," continued Pollack.
The ACA requires employers to compile monthly and report annually, at tax filing time, numerous data points to the IRS and their own employees. This data is used to verify the individual and employer mandates under the law, and administer premium tax credits for coverage in Exchanges. Currently, there is no system to access this important information during the Exchange enrollment process.
The Commonsense Reporting and Verification Act of 2015 creates a front-end voluntary prospective reporting system to improve the accuracy of Exchange tax credit eligibility determinations. Under voluntary prospective reporting, data that would have been reported at the end of the year could now be reported at the beginning of the eligibility process, and help mitigate issues with inaccurate tax credit determinations. The legislation would also protect privacy by not requiring businesses and insurers to collect and report Social Security numbers for spouses and dependents, and authorizes electronic transmission of reporting data.
"Retailers are concerned that individuals may mistakenly be approved for tax credits through the health Exchanges based upon inaccurate information," said Pollack. "Voluntary prospective reporting would lessen the confusion of Exchange tax credit eligibility and lessen the likelihood of individuals being on the hook for incorrect tax credits. This would ease the eligibility and compliance process for individuals, employers, Exchanges, and state and federal governments," noted Pollack.
RILA and the RILA-led E-FLEX Coalition first raised the concept of voluntary prospective reporting to the Administration four years ago, and has been working since then to incorporate the system into the regulatory structure of these ACA requirements.
RILA, the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, promotes consumer choice and economic freedom through public policy and industry operational excellence. Our members provide millions of jobs and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad. RILA members offer quality and affordable health care to their employees and dependents, and are leaders in benefits design by customizing plans to meet their workforces' specific needs.