IRS Provides Automatic Extension of Due Dates for New ACA Reports

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2016-4 extends the due dates for the 2015 information reporting requirements for employers required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This Notice extends the due date for furnishing the 2015 Form 1095-C from February 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016.

This Notice also extends the due date for filing with the IRS the 2015 Form 1094-C from February 29, 2016, to May 31, 2016, if not filing electronically, and from March 31, 2016, to June 30, 2016, if filing electronically.

Employers that do not comply with these extended due dates are subject to penalties for failure to timely furnish and file. However, employers that do not meet the extended due dates are still encouraged to furnish and file, and the IRS will take such furnishing and filing into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause.

The IRS will also take into account whether an employer made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting the required information to the IRS and furnishing it to employees and covered individuals, such as gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent to prepare the data for submission to the IRS or testing its ability to transmit information to the IRS. In addition, the IRS will take into account the extent to which the employer is taking steps to ensure that it is able to comply with the reporting requirements for 2016.

Some individual taxpayers may be affected by the extension of the due date. An employee is not eligible for the premium tax credit for any month for which the employee is eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan that provides minimum value and is affordable (or for any month for which the employee enrolls in an eligible employer-sponsored plan, regardless of whether the Plan is affordable or provides minimum value).

The Form 1095-C generally includes information on the coverage (if any) offered by the employer to the full-time employee. The information reported will assist the employee in determining eligibility for the premium tax credit. For 2015 only, individuals who rely upon other information about their offers of coverage for purposes of determining eligibility for the premium tax 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.

Individuals need not send this information to the IRS when filing their returns but should keep it with their tax records. Similarly, some individual taxpayers may be affected by the extension of the due date for providers of minimum essential coverage to furnish information on either Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C. Individuals generally use this information to confirm that they had minimum essential coverage.

Because, as a result of the extension, individuals may not have received this information before they file their income tax returns, for 2015 only individuals who rely upon other information received from their coverage providers about their coverage for purposes of filing their returns need not amend their returns once they receive the Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C or any corrections. Individuals need not send this information to the IRS when filing their returns but should keep it with their tax records.

The extensions of due dates provided by this notice apply only for calendar year 2015 filed and furnished in 2016 and do not require the submission of any request or other documentation to the IRS. These extensions apply automatically to all filers. These extensions for the information reporting provisions for calendar year 2015 have no effect on these information reporting provisions for other years or on the effective date or application of other ACA provisions.


John Garner

About John Garner

John Garner has over thirty five years of experience in employee benefits. He specializes in compliance, health care reform, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He helps clients with life, health, and disability benefits, cost containment, flexible benefits, and claim consulting.

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