Many IRS offices closed due to the pandemic, limiting Arizona businesses’ ability to report data
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema urged the IRS and the U.S. Department of Treasury to give Arizona businesses flexibility in certain federal health care reporting deadlines to alleviate burdens due to the closures of IRS offices and the coronavirus.
“Arizona businesses deserve flexibility and should not face penalties due to IRS staffing shortages during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sinema.
Sinema’s bipartisan letter asks the IRS to provide relief, flexibility, and certainty to Arizona employers as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Sinema stresses that the IRS penalizing Arizona employers would be counterproductive during this time, especially for factors that are largely out of employers’ control.
The Affordable Care Act’s 4980H requires applicable large employers to report certain kinds of employee data to determine if they are required to provide health coverage. This type of reporting is difficult for employers right now – given the pandemic, the number of workplaces that have been closed or working from home, and the inability to reach IRS staff to ask questions. Any employer who does not report on time, will get a letter from the IRS informing them they have just 30 days to appeal a tax penalty.
Sinema is an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan Employee Flexibility Act which would simplify employer reporting requirements and adjust the definition of a full-time employee (40 hours a week instead of the Affordable Care Act’s 30 hour a week definition).
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.