As we enjoy the last days of summer, the thing farthest from most people’s mind is year-end. But now is the time to start preparing for 1095s (required under the Affordable Care Act) and W2s. Here are 5 things that we recommend that you do now to be ready when year-end comes.
Be Proactive in Your Plan: Assign tasks to your internal team now. Start a dialogue with your health-care vendor(s) to get the format of information that they will be providing to you and with any software providers that you will be using to produce the 1095s, W2s and the associated reports required by the IRS. Attend as many year-end webinars that you can until you feel comfortable that you understand what you need to do to make the year-end 1095 and W2 process go smoothly.
Assess the Tools That You Will Use: If you filed 1095s and W2s for 2015 assess how well the tools that you used did the job and how they might need to be improved. Or if 2016 is the first year that you will be doing these forms, then decide if you will be generating the 1095s and W2s out of Dynamics GP, using Greenshades, or using a different system to generate the forms and to file reports to the IRS. If using Dynamics GP, there are some tools that make the process less stressful such as our W2 Safety Net which archives changes made to 1095 and W2 data to protect it from being wiped out by subsequent year end closings and our 1095 Verification and Import tools which assist in creating 1095s for non-employees, spouses and dependents in Dynamics GP. Confirm that the proper tools are provisioned and will be ready to go when the year-end comes.
Start Watching Dates Now: Get the filing requirements on your calendar now and lay out a schedule that allows you to create and file the 1095s and W2s by the required deadline. Plan for the unexpected and allow some buffer time if the unexpected happens. Penalties are stiff so make sure that you carve out the time necessary to get the job done.
Decide how the 1095s and W2s will be delivered and filed: If printing and mailing, then select the forms vendor and set a date to order the forms. If required or the decision is made to e-file, start discussion with your internal team or an outsourced provider who can do it for you.
Work with IT, HR and Payroll to make sure all are on the same page: Communicate your plan to all those involved including your GP partner or third party software provider. Check for any upcoming upgrades to GP that might impact your timeline. Identify sources of information in order to keep up-to-date on any legislative changes that might occur as the year winds down.
Year-end processing of 1095s and W2s can be less stressful with proper preparation that is done months in advance. If you need some help, please contact us at 218-486-5095 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Deb Sletmoen, MCT, Implementation Specialists – Microsoft Dynamics GP Gold Partner and Greenshades Partner who assists clients with 1095 and W2 compliance
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