By Lauren Bikoff, MLS
Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 4, 2019, to provide individuals with Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, or Forms 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. This is an extension from the original due date of January 31. The extension is automatic, so employers and providers do not have to request it. The due dates for employers and insurers to file 2018 information returns with the IRS are not extended. They are still due on February 28, 2019, for paper filers, and April 1, 2019, for electronic filers.
Background. Health insurers and applicable large employers (ALEs) are required, by Code Secs. 6055 and 6056, respectively, to file and furnish annual information returns and coverage statements. Employers and providers must furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees or covered individuals regarding the health care coverage offered to them. The forms may help recipients determine whether they may claim the premium tax credit on their income tax returns. However, taxpayers do not have to file these forms with their returns; thus, they may prepare and file their returns before they receive their Forms 1095-B or 1095-C.
Penalty relief. The IRS also extended transition relief from late-filing penalties for reporting entities that can show they made good faith efforts to comply with reporting requirements for both individual statements and information returns that have missing or inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other required information. In determining good faith, the IRS will take into account whether an employer or other coverage provider made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting and providing the required information.
Employers and providers that cannot file timely forms should still file the overdue forms as soon as possible, because the IRS will take the late forms into account in determining whether to abate the late-filing penalties.
Going forward. The Notice noted that because the individual shared responsibility payment is reduced to zero for months beginning after December 31, 2018, the IRS is studying whether and how the reporting requirements under section 6055 should change, if at all, for future years.
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