Thank You IRS - Extensions for This Year’s ACA Tax Reporting

by Foley & Lardner LLP

The “Bottom Line”

Employers will have until March 2, 2018 to furnish Form 1095-C (“Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage”) to employees.

Following its recent practice, the IRS has once again extended the deadline for furnishing to employees a statement regarding offers of health coverage required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by 30 days, and will continue to provide employers with penalty relief if they make good-faith efforts to comply with the ACA’s tax reporting requirements. Consistent with its approach last year, the IRS did not extend the deadline for filing the related tax forms with the IRS.

As background, ACA requires large employers to report on the offers of health coverage, if any, made to each full-time employee. Large employers must report on each full-time employee, regardless of whether an offer of coverage was made to the full-time employee or whether the full-time employee enrolls in any coverage offered by the large employer. Tax reporting includes furnishing a statement (Form 1095-C) to each full-time employee and filing copies of all of these statements, along with a transmittal page (Form 1094-C), with the IRS. Sponsors of self-funded health plans must also report on each employee and dependent enrolled in self-funded health coverage, regardless of whether the employee is a full-time employee (Form 1095-C can still be used for this reporting).

This tax reporting was required in 2016 (with respect to health coverage offered in the 2015 calendar year) and in 2017 (with respect to health coverage offered in the 2016 calendar year). The next round of tax reporting is required in early 2018 (with respect to health coverage offered in the 2017 calendar year).

Just like the IRS did for the 2015 and 2016 forms, the IRS recently announced in Notice 2018-06 that it would again extend the furnishing deadline. As noted, the IRS did not extend the filing deadline. However, employers may receive an automatic 30-day extension to file if they submit Form 8809 before the deadline. With this furnishing extension, the following deadlines apply for this year’s reporting:

  Original Deadline Extended Deadline
Furnishing Form 1095-C to Employees January 31, 2018 March 2, 2018
Filing Paper Forms 1095-C with IRS February 28, 2018 No Extension
Electronically Filing* Forms 1095-C with IRS April 2, 2018 No Extension

*Electronic filing required for 250 or more forms.

As noted, the IRS will also continue to permit employers to utilize the good-faith standard for penalty relief, meaning that the IRS will not impose tax reporting penalties on an employer who submits incomplete or inaccurate information on its forms so long as the employer can demonstrate that it made good-faith efforts to comply. However, employers cannot utilize this good-faith standard if they do not complete their ACA tax reporting on time.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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