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ACA Reporting Update: Deadline Extended for Providing Information to Individuals

 December 10 2018     Diane Cross

Once again, the IRS (via Notice 2018-94) extended the due date for distributing forms 1095-C or 1095-B to individuals.  Originally due by January 31, 2019, self-funded employers and applicable large employers (ALEs) now have until March 4, 2019, a 30-day extension, to distribute Form 1095-C or 1095-B to individuals.  This is automatic and employers will not need to apply for this extension.  Like past years, the IRS will not be granting additional 30-day extensions upon request for Form 1095-C or 1095-B distribution to individuals due to this automatic extension.  As such, employers must ensure that they distribute their Forms 1095-C (or 1095-B if applicable) to all applicable individuals no later than March 4th.  

The IRS recognizes that this extension means that individuals may not receive their Form 1095-C (or 1095-B) by the time they file their 2018 tax return.  However, the IRS confirmed that taxpayers do not need to wait to receive these forms before filing tax returns.  Instead, individuals can use other information from their employer (e.g. W-2) to show they held minimum essential coverage in 2018. 

Importantly, the due dates for filing 2018 information returns with the IRS were not extended. However, an entity can still file Form 8809 by the due date of the applicable return if it would like to request an automatic 30-day extension for filing forms 1094/1095 to the IRS.  

Updated 2018 ACA Reporting deadlines include: 

  • February 28, 2019 – Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (or 1094-B and 1095-B if applicable) due to IRS if paper filing (only available for employers with fewer than 250 returns)
  • March 4, 2019 (was January 31st) – Form 1095-C (or 1095-B if applicable) due to individuals
  • April 1, 2019 – Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (or 1094-B and 1095-B if applicable) due to IRS if electronic filing 

More good news for employers, the Notice also extended the good-faith transition relief for 2018 reporting (as was applied for past years as well). This good faith transition rule provides relief for certain reporting penalties to employers that can demonstrate they made a good-faith effort to comply with the requirements. It is important to note that, like last year, this good faith relief is only available to those employers who timely submitted Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. It is not available for failure to timely furnish or file a Form. Any employers who may be struggling to gather correct information by the deadline should timely file their Forms with the information to the best of their abilities and correct it later, rather than filing correct forms late. 

Lastly, the Notice indicates that because the individual shared responsibility payment is reduced to zero effective January 1, 2019 (see our prior blog post on the topic), the IRS is looking into whether the reporting requirements should change, if at all, for future years.  For more information or questions regarding ACA reporting requirements, please contact your HORAN representative.