IRS extends deadline for ACA health coverage information returns


Some employers and coverage providers have more time to distribute 2017 health coverage information returns to employees and enrollees, the IRS has announced. However, the deadline for filing these forms with the IRS has not changed.

Comment. This is not the first time the IRS has extended deadlines. As in past years, 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). However, unlike past years, the extension is more limited.

Background

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) generally requires 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. This is known as Section 6056 reporting. The ACA also requires applicable large employers (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. This is known as Section 6056 reporting.

Comment. The IRS has developed 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.

Extension

Notice 2018-6 extends the due date for furnishing to individuals the 2017 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2017 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from January 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018. However, Notice 2018-6 does not extend the due date for filing with the IRS 2017 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, or 1095-C. That due date remains February 28, 2018, if not filing electronically, or April 2, 2018, if filing electronically.

Comment. The IRS provided similar relief in Notice 2016-4 for 2015 forms and Notice 2017-60 for 2016 forms. Both times, the relief was more expansive than in Notice 2018-6. This time, the IRS reported that only limited relief was needed.

Filers

The IRS noted that some individuals may not receive their Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2017 return. “Taxpayers may rely on other information received from their employer or other coverage provider for purposes of filing their returns, including determining eligibility for the premium tax credit under Code Sec. 36B and confirming that they had minimum essential coverage for purposes of Code Sections 36B and 5000A (the ACA’s individual shared responsibility requirement),” the IRS explained.

Comment. The IRS encouraged employers and coverage providers to furnish 2017 statements as soon as they are able.

Penalties

The IRS has also extended transition relief from penalties under Code Sections 6721 and 6722. However, relief will not be given to reporting entities that do not make a good-faith effort to comply with the regulations.

Comment. The latest IRS announcement does not change the filing deadline for Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. Form 1095-A is filed by the ACA Health Insurance Marketplaces to report information about individuals who enroll in coverage through the Marketplace.

(Notice 2018-6)