IRS Extends ACA Information Reporting Dates

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The federal government is giving employers a little more time to fulfill some of the new reporting requirements created by the Affordable Care Act. For employers who fall under these reporting guidelines and deadlines, the extension means another two months. The Internal Revenue Service announced the changes in late December, which amounts to just over a month’s notice before the arrival of the first deadline. This new IRS guidance extends the ACA information reporting due dates and gives companies covered by the law a little more time to make sure that they properly comply with the requirements.

Employers that are large enough (companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent workers) fall under the ACA requirement to provide their workers with insurance. These companies initially faced a Feb. 1 deadline to issue tax forms 2015 1095-C to their workers, the form that shows the workers information about their healthcare coverage. These forms also provide proof to the IRS that the worker has that insurance coverage. Workers covered by other insurers, such as a Small Business Health Options Program, were to receive a similar form, a 1095-B. According to the IRS’s Dec. 28 notice, the deadline for employers to issue either the 1095-C or the 1095-B forms to their employees has been extended to March 31.

The next set of deadlines applies to submitting forms to the IRS. In addition to providing the 1095-C forms to workers, employers need to send these forms to the IRS. Companies initially faced a Feb. 29 deadline to send the 1095-C forms, along with a 1094-C form – a cover sheet for the 1095-C forms. The 1094-C form includes details about the employer, the number of employees, the contact person, and how many 1095-C forms are being sent. For forms submitted by paper, the deadline to file these forms with the IRS has been pushed back to May 31.

Under the ACA, employers faced a different deadline for submitting forms 1094-C and 1095-C electronically. The initial deadline was March 31. But under the IRS extension, the new deadline is now June 30. Likewise, the deadlines for the 1094-B forms, which show the transmittal of health coverage information, were also pushed back. Companies now have until May 31 to send the form if filing by paper, or June 1 if filing electronically.

These deadline extensions apply automatically to all filers, ADP explains. Companies that face reporting requirements under the ACA do not need to submit anything to the IRS or take any other action in order to have the new deadlines apply to them. But if you already requested a deadline extension before the IRS issued the new deadlines, don’t expect to hear back from the IRS. The agency says it will not respond to companies that have already requested an extension, nor will it grant extensions beyond these new deadline extensions. The IRS adds that companies who fall under the ACA reporting requirements but do not comply with the new deadlines will be subject to penalties.

Not all companies will qualify for the extended deadlines. But the IRS urges companies that don’t qualify for the extended due date to go ahead and file their paperwork by the old deadlines anyway. The IRS will take the decision to file into consideration when deciding whether to penalize a company, ADP says. The IRS will also weigh whether a company made a reasonable effort to provide the required health insurance information to their employees, and to prepare the necessary information for a filing with the government.

Employers face multiple new requirements under the ACA. SurmountHRM has expertise guiding companies through the new ACA rules. For help with your ACA compliance efforts, contact us.

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