Thomson Reuters has released a Web-based analytical tool to help tax practitioners and employee benefits professionals make decisions about the Affordable Care Act for their clients and companies.

The ACA Decision Support Tool, available on the Thomson Reuters Checkpoint online service, produces tailored analyses of the health care reform law’s impact on a business, including scenario planning and potential strategies to optimize employer-provided health benefits.

The tool allows users to input employer data to better understand the relevant requirements of the health care reform law, remain compliant, minimize taxes, and avoid penalties. Users can identify whether an employer is an “applicable large employer” subject to the law’s employer shared responsibility (play or pay) requirements. They can use the tool to determine the impact of shared responsibility rules over multiple years.

“The Affordable Care Act presents significant challenges for advisors who help businesses plan for and comply with the act’s provisions, including the employer shared responsibility mandate and ongoing IRS reporting requirements,” said Jim Reeves, vice president for the professional tax market at Thomson Reuters, in a statement. “With more than 20,000 pages of regulations, the act is extremely complex. Our ACA Decision Support Tool cuts through the complexity and helps employers make well-informed decisions.”

Tax and benefits professionals can determine the after-tax cost of maintaining existing health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act as well as the cost of dropping coverage entirely and adjusting compensation. They can also assess the impact of adding or dropping employees or converting employees from full-time to part-time status.

Users can assess the impact of increasing or decreasing employee contributions to the cost of coverage with the tool, and determine whether an employer qualifies for the small business health care tax credit. They can also use the tool to evaluate the “affordability” of health care coverage.

Features include continual updates to reflect evolving rules and regulations, along with guidance and calculations with references to other Thomson Reuters EBIA and PPC health care reform guidance. An interview-based survey collects employer-specific data to produce the analysis. The tool also offers automated, customizable reports in Microsoft Word format for sharing conclusions and recommendations. In addition, the tool includes primary source materials from the IRS, the Treasury Department and other federal regulatory bodies.

The tool has been designed with the familiar Checkpoint look and feel for regular users of the service. Thomson Reuters collaborated with SyncStream Solutions LLC to develop the tool for Checkpoint and its users.

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