On May 13, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released FAQs addressing the dependent coverage requirement of the employer shared responsibility rules.

The IRS stated that an employer may be liable for an employer-shared responsibility penalty only if a full-time employee receives a premium tax credit for Exchange coverage. Whether or not a full-time employee’s dependents receive a premium tax credit does not affect an employer’s liability.

Transition relief may be available for the 2014 and 2015 plan years for employers that are taking steps to offer dependent coverage.

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