EMPLOYERS GET MORE TIME TO ISSUE ACA REPORTING FORMS

 

Tax Form

The IRS has once again extended penalty relief and due dates for information reporting required under the Affordable Care Act.

Under Notice 2016-70, employers will have an additional month to issue individuals the 2016 forms for reporting on offers of health insurance, the IRS said Nov. 18. 

Originally due Jan. 31, employers now have until March 2, 2017, to issue Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. 

Under the ACA, applicable large employers, those with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees, are required to file and furnish annual information returns regarding health coverage to their employees.

The Notice said that while taxpayers should save the forms when they do come, they do not need to wait for them to file their tax returns and can instead rely on information they receive from their employer or coverage provider to confirm they had minimum essential coverage and determine tax credit eligibility. 

Employers, however, should take special note of requirements and deadlines applicable to them. Those who fail to file or furnish, or who file or furnish incorrect information returns, face a penalty of $260 per form.

The reporting requirement deadline was also extended at the request of employers last year, the first year it went into effect.  (See related story, Employers Get More Time to Fill Out ACA Reporting Returns.) The extension of this year’s deadline was announced days after an IRS official said employers had requested it and it was being considered on Nov. 14.

In July 2016, the IRS proposed regulations to alleviate challenges associated with insurance reporting requirements.

The proposed rules also aim to simplify supplemental coverage reporting requirements. Under the proposed rules, if an individual is covered by more than one minimum essential coverage plan or program provided by the same company, reporting would only be required for one of the plans or programs. Additionally, minimum essential coverage reporting would not be required for an individual if the individual is also covered by other minimum essential coverage that requires reporting under tax code Section 6055.

The IRS also proposed that a reporting entity would be treated as acting in a responsible manner for properly requesting a taxpayer identification number, even if it doesn't receive the TIN number. (See related story, IRS Proposes Relief for Some ACA Reporting Duties.) 

IRS Notice 2016-70 is scheduled to publish Dec. 5 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2016-49.

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