Accounting Firms Face Challenges Advising Businesses on Health Care Reform

NEW YORK, May 22, 2013 — In a new Thomson Reuters survey of U.S. accounting firms, 24 percent of respondents said their business clients are not fully aware of their potential exposure to penalties under aspects of the Affordable Care Act that take effect in 2014.

“The 20,000 pages of legislation outlines new obligations for employer-provided health plans,” says Jim Reeves, vice president, medium and large CPA firm markets, Thomson Reuters. “In our survey of CPAs, more than 70 percent said their clients are counting on their guidance on these issues. This creates a significant opportunity for firms that develop expertise to help clients unravel the complex legislation and implement the new requirements.”

The survey asked more than 130 U.S. accounting firms for the biggest challenges they and their clients face in implementing the health care legislation. Here are the top three responses:

  1. Assessing the impact of employer-shared responsibility requirements – i.e., determining large employer status, assessing affordability and minimum value of coverage, and estimating possible penalties.
  2. Understanding nondiscrimination requirements for employer-provided health insurance plans.
  3. Calculating premium-assistance and cost-sharing reduction subsidies to allow individuals to see the subsidy they would receive based on varying income levels, family size, etc.

The survey results are included in a Thomson Reuters special report available to download at yourcheckpoint.thomsonreuters.com/healthcarereform.

The special report, “Timeline of 2013 – 2018 Tax Changes in Health Care Reform Legislation,” also includes a timeline with concise summaries of each new tax provision, interwoven with analysis as illustrations, observations, and cautions to help practitioners begin planning now.

The report is an example of the practical, insightful information available on Thomson Reuters Checkpoint, the industry-leading and award-winning online service that provides research, news, analysis, and productivity tools to tax, audit, accounting, legal, trade, and finance professionals.

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