Affordable Health Care Act Doesn’t Apply To Real Estate Contractors

Final regulations issued in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognize “qualified real estate agents” as non-employees for purposes of the “Shared Responsibility for Employers” provisions of the new health care law. With the clarifications included in the final regulations, brokerage firms that contract the services of qualified real estate agents will not have to be concerned whether such agents might be construed as employees under a common law test.

Earlier proposed regulations were silent on the status of real estate agents, leaving some doubt as to whether brokerages might have to count agents as employees for purposes of the ACA. The change was requested by the NAR in 2013.

The significance of the change to the final regulations is that larger employers (those with 50 or more full-time employees), which are subject to the Obamacare provision requiring such employers to offer affordable health coverage to their employees or pay a “tax,” will not have to count qualified real estate agents as employees for this purpose.

Read the letter to the IRS from NAR Re: Proposed Rule for Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health
Coverage (IRS REG-138006-12)( pdf)