6055 & 6056 Reporting Deadlines Extended
The Internal Revenue Service announced filing deadline extensions for employers subject to the reporting requirements of Sections 6055 and 6056, including self-insured group health plan sponsors and applicable large employers. The deadline changes apply to those forms relating to the 2015 calendar year that are being filed in 2016.
The IRS issued Notice 2016-4 to delay the due dates for filing and furnishing forms under Section 6055 and 6056. Specifically, the notice extends the due dates for:
- Furnishing the 2015 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals, from Feb. 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016; and
- Filing the 2015 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS, from Feb. 29, 2016, to May 31, 2016, if not filing electronically. Those filing electronically will have until June 30, 2016, instead of the original March 31 deadline.
Despite the delay, employers and other coverage providers are encouraged to furnish statements and file information returns as soon as they are ready. The new deadlines apply automatically to all reporting entities. No request or additional documentation is required. Entities that had previously requested extensions will not be receiving formal approval of those requests.
Section 6055 applies to providers of minimum essential coverage, such as health insurance issuers and employers with self-insured health plans. These entities will generally use Forms 1094-B and 1095-B to report information about coverage they provided during the previous year.
Section 6056 applies to applicable large employers (ALE); generally, ALEs are considered to be those employers with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, in the previous year. ALEs will use Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to report information relating to the health coverage that they offer or do not offer to their full-time employees.
These extensions for the Sections 6055 and 6056 information reporting provisions for calendar year 2015 have no effect on the information reporting provisions for other years or on the effective date or application of other ACA provisions.
The IRS had previously stated that it will not impose penalties on reporting entities that can show that they have made good faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements. This relief applies only to furnishing and filing incorrect or incomplete information, not to a failure to timely furnish or file a statement or return. However, the penalties may be waived if a failure to timely furnish or file a statement or return is due to reasonable cause.
Impact on Individuals
The information reported on Form 1095-C will help employees in determining eligibility for premium tax credits for Exchange coverage. Some individuals who enrolled in Exchange coverage 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. Individuals need not send this information to the IRS when filing their returns, but should keep it with their tax records.
Similarly, some individual taxpayers may be affected by the extension of the due date for providers of minimum essential coverage to furnish information under Section 6055 on either Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C. Individuals generally use this information to confirm that they had minimum essential coverage for purposes of the individual mandate. As a result of the extension, individuals may not have received this information before they file their income tax returns. For 2015 only, individuals who rely upon other information received from their coverage providers about their coverage for purposes of filing their returns need not amend their returns once they receive the Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C. Individuals should keep this information with their tax records as well.
This blog is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.