Over the past several months, when the IRS was asked about extending the deadline for filing the 2015 Forms 1094 and 1095, their response always indicated that there would be no extensions. However, the IRS released notice 2016-4 on December 28, 2015, granting extensions for insurers, employers and other reporting entities to file those forms.
The notice specifically identified the following forms and extensions:
|2015 Form 1094-B (Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns)||If not filing electronically: The due date for filing Form 1094-B with the IRS has been extended from February 29, 2016 to May 31, 2016.
If filing electronically:
|2015 Form 1095-B (Health Coverage)||The due date for furnishing Form 1095-B to individuals has been extended from February 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016.|
|2015 Form 1094-C (Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns)||If not filing electronically: The due date for filing Form 1094-C with the IRS has been extended from February 29, 2016 to May 31, 2016.
If filing electronically:
|2015 Form 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage)||The due date for furnishing Form 1095-C to individuals has been extended from February 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016.|
The extensions granted under Notice 2016-4 are automatic and do not require employers to file for an extension. To the extent an employer has already requested an extension, that extension request will not be formally granted, since the extensions in Notice 2016-4 are automatic and more generous.
Employers or other coverage providers that do not comply with these extended due dates are subject to penalties under section 6722 or 6721 for failure to timely furnish and file. However, employers and other coverage providers that do not meet the extended due dates are still encouraged to furnish and file, and the IRS will take such furnishing and filing into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause.
The IRS notes that this extension will not affect most individuals when filing their own income tax returns. However, individuals who may be affected will not be required to amend their 2015 tax returns once they receive the Form 1095-B or 1095-C. Individuals should keep that information with their tax records and will not be required to send that updated information to the IRS.
Some employees (and related individuals) who enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace but did not receive a determination from the Marketplace that the offer of employer-sponsored coverage was not affordable could be affected by the extension if they do not receive their Forms 1095-C before they file their income tax returns. As a result, for 2015 only, individuals who rely upon other information received from employers about their offers of coverage for purposes of determining eligibility for the premium tax credit when filing their income tax returns need not amend their returns once they receive their Forms 1095-C or any corrected Forms 1095-C. Individuals need not send this information to the IRS when filing their returns but should keep it with their tax records.
For more information, please contact your tax advisor or Ron Present, Partner and Health Care Industry Group Leader, at email@example.com or 314.983.1358.