IRS Extends ACA Individual Statement Deadline from Jan. 31 to March 4
IRS Notice 2018-94 extends the 2019 deadline from January 31 to March 4 for employers and insurers to furnish individual statements on 2018 health coverage and/or offers of coverage to full-time employees (Forms 1095-B and 1095-C). The notice also extends prior penalty relief to 2018 incorrect or incomplete reports due in 2019.
Extended deadline for individual statements. Under the ACAs reporting requirements, individuals with minimum essential coverage (MEC) and full-time employees of applicable large employers (ALEs) must receive Forms 1095-B (generally insured coverage) and 1095-C (offer and coverage to ALE full-time employees and anyone with ALE-provided self-funded MEC). The March 4 extension only applies to furnishing the statements to employees and covered individuals, and IRS will not grant additional extensions. Individuals can file their 2018 federal tax returns before receiving a Form 1095 by relying on other coverage information received from their employer or another coverage provider.
IRS filing deadlines unchanged. Reporters still must meet the Feb. 28 deadline (if filing by paper) or April 1 (if filing electronically) to submit 1095s to IRS, accompanied by the appropriate 1094 transmittal form. However, an automatic 30-day extension of the IRS filing deadline is available by submitting Form 8809 before the relevant due date.
Extended good-faith relief. The extended good-faith relief from certain penalties under Notice 2018-94 "applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other information required on the return or statement." In determining good faith, IRS says it will look at whether an employer made reasonable efforts to meet the reporting requirements, such as gathering and transmitting data to an agent for submission to IRS. Reporters must meet applicable deadlines to show the good-faith efforts required to qualify for this relief. However, IRS recognizes that late filers may still be able avoid penalties by showing reasonable cause for missing the due dates.
Future changes possible. The notice says IRS is considering "whether and how the reporting requirements … should change, if at all, for future years" in light of last year's tax law that eliminated the individual penalty for failure to have health coverage. What relief IRS might provide isn't clear. While individuals won't need 1095s to avoid individual-mandate assessments, the forms still give IRS information to administer employer shared-responsibility penalties and premium tax credits.