ACA Reporting Deadline Extended

January 12, 2017 | Katherine A. Beenken

Katherine A. Beenken | Ahlers & Cooney

Benefits professionals have one more thing to be thankful for this time of year -- a 30-day extension to furnish employees forms associated with Affordable Care Act reporting. Specifically, the deadline for providing 2016 Form 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage), and Form 1095-B (Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns) is pushed back to March 2, 2017.

Applicable large employers, those with 50 or more full-time or equivalent employees, are generally subject to the ACA's employer mandate as it relates to reporting requirements. The deadline extension to provide ACA forms to employees was announced November 18 in IRS Notice 2016-70. In granting this automatic extension, the IRS stated that it would not permit additional, permissive, extensions to the new due date. Employers who have already requested the deadline extension prior to the publication of Notice 2016-70 may not receive a formal response from the IRS. Employers are "encouraged" to provide the required forms "as soon as they are able."

No other reporting deadline extensions were announced. There is no change in the deadline for employers to provide required forms to the IRS. Forms must be provided to the IRS no later than February 28, 2017, if filing by paper, or March 31, 2017 if filing electronically. Automatic extensions of time for filing information returns to the IRS remain available under normal rules by submitting a Form 8809.

Notice 2016-70 also extends the Good Faith transition relief for penalties otherwise levied in response to incorrect and incomplete information. This relief does not protect employers from penalties related to missed deadlines or failure to furnish a statement or return. Instead, penalties may be waived if an employer can show the employer made a good-faith effort to comply with the information reporting requirements of the ACA.

The IRS acknowledged that individual employees may not receive a Form 1095-B or 1095-C in time to file their individual returns. Notice 2016-70 states, "[t]axpayers may rely on other information received from their employer or other coverage provider for purposes of filing their returns ... Taxpayers do not need to wait to receive Forms 1095-B and 1095-C before filing their returns."

Several provisions of the ACA are in flux currently. Employers are encouraged to contact their attorney or benefits advisor with questions.

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