Are You an Applicable Large Employer? Review Your Status Annually


Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-02, January 6, 2016                                             

You are an applicable large employer if you averaged at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, during the prior year. Applicable large employers are subject to information reporting and the employer shared responsibility provisions of the health care law.

Steps to determine if you are an applicable large employer:

  • Determine how many full-time employees you had each month of the prior year. This provision defines a full-time employee for any calendar month as one who has, on average, at least 30 hours of service per week. 
  • Determine how many full-time equivalent employees you had each month of the prior year. To do this, combine the number of hours of service of all non-full-time employees for the month – but no more than 120 hours per employee – and divide that total by 120.
  • For each calendar month, add your full-time and full-time equivalent employees for a monthly total. Add the monthly totals. Divide the sum of the monthly totals by 12. If the result is 50 or more employees, you are an applicable large employer.

The law treats employers in an aggregated group as a single employer for determining applicable large employer status. You are part of an aggregated group if you have common ownership or are otherwise related to other employers.

For details about information about ALE information reporting requirements  and the shared responsibility provisions, visit For information about rules to determine who is a full-time employee and what counts as hours of service, see the ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers.