Added by the ACA, Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) impose new information reporting obligations on providers of health care coverage. In general, insurers and self-insured employers providing minimum essential coverage to any individual during a calendar year are required to report information regarding such coverage to the IRS on Forms 1094-B and 1095-B. Similarly, "applicable large employers" are required to report information to the IRS on Forms 1094-C and 1095-C regarding offers of coverage to their "full-time employees" (as such terms are defined for purposes of ACA's employer coverage mandate) during a calendar year. In both cases, the reporting entity is also required to furnish a statement to each relevant individual regarding such coverage or offer of coverage.
In Notice 2016-4, released on December 28, 2015, the IRS provides a one-time extension of the 2015 deadlines as follows:
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These extensions are relevant only for the 2015 reporting obligations and do not require the submission of a request or provision of other documentation to the IRS. The IRS notes that, in light of these extensions, no other automatic or permissive extensions will be available for 2015 and, to the extent already requested by filers, will not be granted.
Code Sections 6721 and 6722 impose penalties (generally $250 for each return or statement) for failure to timely file these returns or for the filing of incomplete or incorrect returns, as well as for failure to timely furnish correct statements to individuals. The IRS earlier indicated it would not impose penalties for 2015 for filing incomplete or incorrect information if the employer or other filer made a good faith effort to comply with the requirements. In order to obtain this relief, the employer or other filer must now comply with these new extended filing deadlines. Although this relief for 2015 reporting does not apply to a failure to timely file or furnish the required filings or statements, in considering whether to abate the penalty for reasonable cause, the IRS will take into account whether the employer or other filer made reasonable efforts to prepare for the reporting obligation and the extent to which the filer is taking steps to ensure that it will be able to timely comply with the 2016 reporting requirements.