During the holiday season, the IRS published Notice 2016-4 and extended the deadlines that apply to employers and coverage providers for reporting health coverage through the 2015 Forms 1094/1095. The notice stated:
- Deadline for Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals are extended from February 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016; and
- Deadline for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C filed with the IRS are extended from March 31, 2016 to June 30, 2016 (if electronic filing), and from February 29, 2016 to May 31, 2016 (if paper filing).
These extensions are automatic, and supersede the 30 day permissive extensions employers were previously able to request.
Employers that fail to submit and/or provide the forms within these new deadlines will be subject to penalties. The IRS has announced that it may reduce or waive penalties if an employer makes reasonable efforts to comply with the 2016 reporting requirements.
Of course, this extension will likely result in employees not having their Forms 1094/1095 at the time they file their federal income tax returns. Although these Forms are not required to be attached to income tax filings, the information on these Forms could differ from information individuals had previously received from their employers or coverage providers with respect to whether they have affordable, minimum essential coverage. So, the IRS Notice states that individuals will not need to re-file their returns if they file their income tax returns before receiving these Forms from their employer and the Forms contain information that differs from the information they had relied upon in completing their returns. Click here for IRS Notice 2016-4.