New tax self-reporting obligation for health plans
Under recently finalized IRS regulations, employers who maintain ERISA-covered group health plans must self-report excise taxes that are owed to the IRS due to failure to comply with laws such as COBRA, HIPAA, and other federal laws affecting group health plans (74 Fed Reg 45994, Sept. 8, 2009). This self-reporting obligation went into effect on January 1, 2010. Previously, there was no way for plans to self-report excise tax liabilities and the IRS rarely assessed excise taxes for failures discovered during an audit. Now, failure to self-report excise taxes owed will result in IRS penalties and interest. This new reporting requirement makes it more important than ever to make sure that your plans are in compliance with federal law. Contact your health plan advisor with questions.