ACA Information Reporting Deadlines
The IRS has announced an automatic extension of filing deadlines for certain 2015 information returns under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The extension affects Code Sec. 6055 reporting by insurers, self-insuring employers and other providers of minimum essential coverage and Code Sec. 6056 reporting by applicable large employers (ALEs). The IRS also provided transition relief for individuals who may be impacted by the extension.
Take Away. “Employers, insurers, and other entities who were concerned about the deadlines may breathe a little easier because of the new guidance,” Edward Leeds, Counsel, Ballard Spahr LLP, Philadelphia, told Wolters Kluwer. “Those who were considering filing for an extension should not do so. However, it makes sense to remain diligent in meeting the requirements,” Leeds added.
“As part of our efforts to implement the ACA in a careful and thoughtful way, the Treasury Department and the IRS are responding to feedback from private sector businesses and insurers and providing additional time for employer and insurer reporting under the ACA for the first year,” Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, said in a statement.
Under Code Sec. 6055, health insurance issuers, self-insuring employers, government agencies, and other providers of minimum essential coverage file with the IRS and provide to covered individuals annual information returns and statements about the coverage. Code Sec. 6056 generally requires ALEs to file with the IRS and provide covered individuals annual information returns and statements relating to the health insurance that the employer offers, or does not offer, to its full-time employees. The IRS provided the deadlines for filing these information returns and statements in TD 9660 and TD 9661.
The IRS has developed new forms for Code Sec. 6055 reporting and Code Sec. 6056 reporting. The forms are Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.
Notice 2016-2 extends the due date for providing to individuals the 2015 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2015 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from February 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016. Notice 2016-2 also extends the due date for filing with the IRS the 2015 Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, the 2015 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, the 2015 Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, and the 2015 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from February 29, 2016, to May 31, 2016, if not filing electronically, and from March 31, 2016, to June 30, 2016 if filing electronically.
The IRS explained that it is prepared to accept filings of the information returns on Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C beginning in January 2016. “Notwithstanding the extensions provided in this notice, employers and other coverage providers are encouraged to furnish statements and file the information returns as soon as they are ready,” the IRS advised.
Provisions regarding automatic and permissive extensions of time for filing information returns and permissive extensions of time for furnishing statements will not apply to the extended due dates, the IRS explained.
Some employees (and related individuals) who enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace but did not receive a determination from the Marketplace that the offer of employer-sponsored coverage was not affordable could be affected by the extension if they do not receive their Forms 1095-C before they file their income tax returns, the IRS explained. Therefore, for 2015 only, individuals who rely upon other information received from employers about their offers of coverage for purposes of determining eligibility for the Code Sec. 36B credit when filing their income tax returns need not amend their returns once they receive their Forms 1095-C or any corrected Forms 1095-C, the IRS explained.
Additionally, some individuals may be affected by the extension of the due date for Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C. Individuals, the IRS explained, generally use this information to confirm that they had minimum essential coverage. Because of the extension, individuals may not have received this information before they file their income tax returns. For 2015 only, individuals who rely on other information received from their coverage providers about their coverage for purposes of filing their returns need not amend their returns once they receive Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C or any corrections.