Novak’s small business health plan bibliography

This is an annotated list of articles and blog posts on the topic of small business health planning and related tax issues. I expect that these issues will be important in the upcoming tax filing season and apparently few other resources are available at this time. Some of the articles are meant for small business owners and others are meant for tax preparers. This listing does not include articles posted on LinkedIn and some professional blogs that have restricted access.

Guerilla strategies for small business health care costs: 2017 and beyond, 3/9/2017

2017 Trends in health insurance enrollment, 3/8/2017, a look at consumer purchase decisions during the transition period.

Small business HRA setup and support services, 2/28/2017, The setup deadline is March 30.

Health care planning for small businesses: 2017, 2/25/2017, a bullet point summary of the Republican health plan issues of most concern to small business owners

Alternatives to Obamacare, 2/23/2017, coverage available now during the transition period

A holistic approach to small business benefit plans, republished 2/11/2017, An introduction to consumer-driven defined contribution health plans

Rethinking our 2017 health care strategy, 10/26/2016, discusses the possibility of combing insurance with HSA, HRA and supplemental insurance for maximum tax-efficient coverage.

A sneak preview of single payer health care, 10/23/2016, suggests that the responses that small businesses make now will direct the future of healthcare finance.

A simple individual health insurance alternative for small business contractors 2/15/2016 a limited time free service offer for members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and select other small business employers to convert employer-sponsored health plans using individual insurance to the new type of permitted employer payment arrangement. (The same service is available to other small businesses but not with the fee waiver).

What to do if your W-2 includes taxable health benefits, 2/11/2016, covers a topic likely to be asked by many small business employees this year with a “how to” to redirect the preliminary correction work away from tax preparers.

Quick Summary of Small Business Health Plan Informational Tax Filing Requirements for 2015, 1/14/2016 this is an emerging hot topic for small business tax preparers.

Changing opinions on small business health plan penalty taxes, 1/8/2016, why the discussion of tax penalties now might not be the same as in 2015

4980D Small Business Excise Tax Liability, from the January 2016 New Jersey CPA magazine, an article intended for tax professional that includes a discussion of tax penalties and abatement.

News: 2015 small business health plan tax filing extension 12/29/2015 announces an extension to the filing deadlines that affect self-insured non-integrated health plans like HRAs and MERPs.

Common adviser errors with small business health plans, 12/23/2015, focusing on tax treatment of IRC 105 employer-paid health benefits. The core message is “two wrongs don’t male a right” when dealing with the tax treatment of employer-provided health benefits in the post-ACA world.

Watchlist for tax preparers: 2015 small business health plans, 12/21/2015 , includes highlighted buzzwords and a discussion of accuracy-related penalties for tax preparers working on 2015 small business tax returns. This was updated 12/27/2015 to address vague wording on the distinction of what is and what is not an employer health plan. The update is described here.

Small business tax changes for 2015 (for tax preparers). 12/17/2015, the five biggest changes from a tax preparer’s perspective beginning with the preparation of W2 forms and ending with penalty calculation and abatement procedures.

Small business tax changes for 2015 (for owners). 12/16/2015, the four biggest new federal tax issues this year for small business owners.

Plan ahead to avoid tax penalties on W2 health benefits, 12/16/2015, emphasizes that businesses of all types and sizes could be affected and includes a link to resources.

Surprising lawmaker response to small business tax relief effort, 12/15/2015, a summary of NFIB’s last-ditch unsuccessful effort to gain relief from the 2015 tax penalties.

Avoidable small business taxes in 2015, 11/5/2015, a longer article with background on this developing issue and reference links to underlying legal authority.

11 tax traps for small business health plans, 10/22/2015, a big picture view of issues sometimes overlooked by employers and advisers. Some of these indirect consequences tend to be overlooked by advisers.

Retroactive termination of employee benefit plans, 10/22/2015, an introduction of a topic that can not be fully addressed in an online post but should be considered in a one-on-one with your accountant.

What options are available to employers who wish to help employees afford the cost of health care?, 10/16/2015, emphasizes that there are only 5 distinct options available to employers that meet the requirements of current law.

Why employers should not ‘bonus up’ for individual health insurance, 11/10/2015, a common problem described from the employee’s perspective

2015 health plan information returns for small business employers, 12/10/2015, brief information on W2 and 1095B filings.

Health plan checklist for accountants preparing small business tax returns for 2015, 11/2/1015, a practical checklist for tax preparers to help avoid accuracy-related penalties.

Three solid financial planning strategies for dealing with the Unaffordable Care Act, 7/12/2015, ideas for small businesses dealing with the Unaffordable Care Act

Calculating small business health plan excise taxes, 11/3/2015, a discussion of the procedural aspects of calculating tax penalties on non-compliant small business health plans.


10 responses to “Novak’s small business health plan bibliography”

  1. Steve Cembrinski Avatar
    Steve Cembrinski

    Thank you Tony. A comprehensive look at this topic is hard to come by. I appreciate the coverage and wish you continued success.

  2. Thanks Steve. Yes, I was quite surprised to find little or no other third party commentary on the tax issues and disturbed that the most prolific sales firms are promoting products that the IRS has already said won’t prevent clients from owing tax penalties.

  3. Tony,
    This is the first time I have seen your blog. I am impressed that a CPA has taken the time to acknowledge the small business owners. It is really interesting how the public was charmed into believing this ACA was going to be the BIG SAVIOR of this countries health care crisis.
    We work primarily with small businesses and individuals who are just trying to keep themselves in businesses with a little extra for vacations and such. They are not leaning on the govt to take care of them. These people rely solely on their employees who care as much as the owners do. When a small bus owner wants to buy insurance for his employee, we often find that the rates are HIGHER than the individual market but the networks can be better. There are rules like meeting eligibility and filing tax credentials which often (this is in NY) doesn’t allow the employer the ability to offer low deductible plans with good networks. So small group doesn’t mean lower premium, it just means the employee can take the benefit tax free and the employer can give it as a benefit. If the employer wants to buy his employee insurance individually the employee has to report it as income, and the employer must also pay taxes on this like a bonus.. So why hasn’t anyone addressed this BIG ISSUE before? Because the gov’t wants everyone to fall the individual market and this will give them more dollars since there will be no tax free benefits. This will help pay for all the subsidies that the big business is not paying for because they MUST buy insurance or face BIG ;penalties.. WHAT a mess. I say, let us have Socialized NETWORK of doctors, hospitals and facilities like Canada and let everyone pay for this equally taxing us all across the board. However those of wanting better networks or different doctors whether homeopathic or traditional, let them have that too either through the small or large group business they work for or through the individual market. The companies or those buying directly for themselves, should have the right to take their premiums as a tax right off since they won’t be taking services from THE US socialized medical program. ie..OUR GOV”T They can waive themselves out of the social programs. STOP telling Americans we need to have skin in the game to stop the bleeding of healthcare. Stop the drug companies from having patents that expire in 10 years. Everyone can reap from a 5 year deal and stop charging astronomical prices for the meds that everyone needs on a regular basis. Allow people who prefer herbs to pay them with pre tax money and allow Drs. of all types practice natural medicine. Stop paying the executives of the hospitals millions of dollars. Stop making our hospitals like hotels. And stop allowing the out patient facilities rape the patients with their enormous costs for testing. So frustrating. Thanks for the blog.

  4. […] W2 and this coverage along with individual insurance is subject to an excise tax for 2015. See my annotated bibliography on this […]

  5. […] penalties under market reform provisions as a separate issue that is not discussed here. See this list of other articles for more information on Section 4980D excise taxes for small business health […]

  6. […] This post does not cover the background of the new law or include any citations. For more information please see Novak’s 2015 small business health plan tax article bibliography. […]

  7. […] for you and your business will play the largest role in answering that question. A bibliography of more topics in this discussion is compiled on my web […]

  8. […] most small business owners who are restricted by the new rules of the Affordable Care Act. (See the earlier blog posts on this […]

  9. Tony Novak, CPA Avatar
    Tony Novak, CPA

    Some of the 2015 and 2016 articles are out-of-date and not applicable to 2017. I will make updates as soon as possible.

  10. […] information may be out-of-date. For more recent information and postings, see This article does not include updates triggered by the 21st Century Cures Act in late […]

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