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Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions for Employers

The Affordable Care Act, or health care law, contains benefits and responsibilities for employers. The size and structure of your workforce – small, large, or part of a group – helps determine what applies to you. However, if you have no employees, the following information does not apply to you.

 Small Employers
Large Employers
Small employers, generally those with fewer than 50 full-time employees, may be eligible for credits and other benefits.
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A large employer has 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents.
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How do I know if I am a small or large employer? Why does it matter?

An employer’s size is determined by the number of its employees. Employer benefits, opportunities and requirements are dependent upon the employer’s size and the applicable rules. Generally, an employer with 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents will be considered a large employer.

Employers with:

  • Fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for a Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help cover the cost of providing coverage.
  • Generally 50 or fewer employees may be eligible to buy coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Learn more at
  • 50 or more full-time equivalent employees will need to file an annual return reporting whether and what health insurance they offered employees. In addition, they are subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions.

Certain affiliated employers with common ownership or part of a controlled group must aggregate their employees to determine their workforce size. Proposed regulations (pdf) and FAQs provide more information about determining the size of your workforce.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 03-Jun-2014