On December 28, the IRS provided a New Year’s gift to employers when it issued Notice 2016-4, which extends the due dates for the 2015 Affordable Care Act information reporting requirements (both furnishing to individuals and filing with the Internal Revenue Service (Service)) for insurers, self-insuring employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), and the information reporting requirements for applicable large employers under section 6056 of the Code.
The IRS stated:
“Specifically, this Notice . . .
“(1) extends the due date for furnishing the 2015 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2015 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from January 31, 2016, until March 31, 2016, and
“(2) extends the due date for filing with the Service 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.
“This Notice also provides guidance to individuals who, as a result of these extensions, might not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they file their 2015 tax returns.”
|Previous Deadline||New Deadline|
|Forms to be Distributed to Employees and Covered Individuals: 1095-B and 1095-C||February 1, 2016||March 31, 2016|
|Forms to Be Filed with the IRS: 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C||February 29, 2016
|May 31, 2016|
|March 31, 2016 (electronic filing)||June 30, 2016|
Who Must Report
Section 6055 of the IRS code requires health insurance insurers, self-insuring employers, government agencies, and other providers of minimum essential coverage to file and furnish annual information returns and statements of coverage provided. Section 6066 of the IRS code requires applicable large employers (ALEs) those with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees in the previous year to file and furnish information relating to the health insurance the employer offers or does not offer to its full-time employees. These reporting forms show the months in which employees have minimum essential coverage.
Why the Extension
The IRS shows it is listening as the notice stated that the Department of Treasury and the IRS determined after consultation with stakeholders that “some employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time to adapt and implement systems and procedures to gather, analyze, and report this information,” The notice also states that for 2015 the IRs will not apply penalties on “reporting entities that can show that they have made good faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements, and that this relief applies only to furnishing and filing incorrect or incomplete information, including TINS or dates of birth, reported on a return or statement and not to a failure to timely furnish or file a statement or return.”
Importance of Timely Filing by New Deadlines
Timely filing by these new deadlines is important as employers who do not file by the new deadlines will be subject to IRS penalties. The IRS states in the notice that because the extensions automatically apply to all filers and are more generous than extensions of time to file that have already been requested, such requests will not be formally granted. However, the notice also stated that employers and other providers that do not meet the new deadlines are still encouraged to furnish and file and the IRS “will take furnishing and filing into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause.”