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U.S. Treasury relaxes 2015 Obamacare penalty rules for businesses

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Monday relaxed final rules for businesses that must comply with the Affordable Care Act in 2015, sparing businesses with 99 employers or fewer the tax penalty until 2016.

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In final regulations to be published on Monday by the Treasury Department, businesses with between 50 and 99 employees will not face a penalty until 2016 for not providing healthcare.

For businesses with 100 or more employees, the final rules reduce to 70 percent the number of full-time workers to whom an employer must offer coverage in 2015. Businesses are required to offer coverage to 95 percent of their employees in 2016 and beyond.

The Obama administration last July delayed for employers the ACA penalties and reporting requirements until 2015. Most individuals face a tax penalty for not having healthcare coverage in 2014.

(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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