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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and investment management.


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has seven offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 29 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and four paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Seven of the attorneys are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Seven of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2017, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.




Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Washington, D.C.

Tel: (202) 969-2800


Fax: (202) 969-2568

 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Suite 810

Washington, D.C. 20006



Tel: (847) 990-9034

Fax: (847) 557-1312

190 South LaSalle Street

Suite 2100

Chicago, IL 60603



Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
25 W. Moody Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63119 








 IRS to Begin Assessing Penalties for Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions

December 1, 2017




The IRS has announced, through a series of questions and answers, that it will begin the process of assessing penalties for violations of the Affordable Care Act's ("ACA"s) employer shared responsibility provisions for the 2015 calendar year.


Background. Under the ACA, applicable large employers ("ALEs"), which are employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, are subject to one of two penalties if they fail to comply with the ACA's employer shared responsibility provisions.


The first penalty applies if: (i) an employer fails to offer health care coverage to "substantially all" of its full-time employees; and (ii) a low-income, full-time employee receives a premium tax credit through a Marketplace. In those situations, the employer must pay an annual penalty of $2,000 (adjusted for inflation) multiplied by the number of full-time employees in excess of 30.


The other penalty applies in situations where: (i) an employer offers health care coverage to its full-time employees that is either "unaffordable" or does not provide "minimum value;" and (ii) a low-income, full-time employee receives a premium tax credit through an Exchange. In such situations, the employer must pay an annual penalty of $3,000 (adjusted for inflation) for each full-time employee who receives the premium tax credit. However, this penalty is capped at $2,000 multiplied by the number of full-time employees in excess of 30.


IRS Qs and As. The IRS says it will issue Letter 226J to an ALE if, based on a review of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, it determines that, for at least one month during 2015, at least one full-time employee was enrolled in a qualified health plan for which a premium tax credit was allowed. In the letter, the IRS will detail the reasons why it believes the penalty should be assessed.


ALEs will have an opportunity to respond to the IRS before any employer shared responsibility liability is assessed and demand for payment is made.  Letter 226J will provide instructions on how the ALE should respond in writing, either agreeing with the proposed employer shared responsibility payment or disagreeing with part or all of the proposed amount. The response to Letter 226J will be generally be due within 30 days of the letter's date.


If, after correspondence between the ALE and the IRS, it is determined that the ALE is liable for an employer shared responsibility payment, the IRS will assess the penalty and issue a notice and demand for payment (i.e., Notice CP 220J). This Notice will include a summary of the employer shared responsibility payment and will reflect payments made, credits applied, and the balance due, if any.  The notice will instruct the ALE how to make payment, if any.


The IRS plans to issue Letter 226Js in late 2017.










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This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.