December 27, 2017

Employers and Providers Now Have More Time to Issue Health Coverage Forms in 2018

On December 22, 2017, in Notice 2018-06, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an automatic 30-day extension of the deadline for providing 2017 health coverage information Forms 1095-B (sent by the health plan) or 1095-C (sent by the employer) to individuals. The new deadline is March 2, 2018. (The old deadline was January 31, 2018).

However, the IRS has not changed the due dates for filing 2017 information returns with the IRS. Those deadlines remain February 28, 2018 for paper filers and April 2, 2018 for electronic filers. Employers or plans may file a request for a 30-day extension from the IRS filing deadline using Form 8809.

Notice 2018-06 also extends relief from penalties under sections 6721 and 6722 to health plans and employers that can show that they have made good-faith efforts to comply with the information-reporting requirements for incorrect or incomplete information reported on the return or statement. The relief applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other information required on the return or statement, but does not provide relief for failure to file or late filing.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Public Law 115-97), enacted December 22, 2017, effectively repealed the Affordable Care Act individual shared responsibility penalty beginning in January 2019. However, for years prior to 2019, individuals must be able to demonstrate that they have health coverage or meet an exception, or pay the individual mandate penalty. Individuals may demonstrate that they have employer coverage by using a variety of methods of proof, including an insurance card or explanation of benefits (EOB) form. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has stated that individuals do not need to wait until they receive their Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to file their individual taxes, and they do not need to attach the forms to their Form 1040. See the IRS webpage Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals.

For background on Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C, see Sibson Consulting’s October 6, 2016 Update.

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