The IRS recently announced in Notice 2018-06 that it has extended the 2018 deadline for insurers, self-insured employers, other coverage providers and applicable large employers to provide Forms 1095-B and 1095-C (the “Forms”) to individuals who received health insurance coverage in 2017. These Forms, which are required by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), must now be provided to individuals by March 2, 2018, instead of January 31, 2018. The extension is automatic; employers and other coverage providers need not apply for or specifically request it.
Importantly, although the deadline to provide Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to covered individuals was extended, the due dates for employers and health insurance providers to file information returns with the IRS was not extended. The IRS filing deadlines remain February 28, 2018 for paper filers and April 2, 2018 for electronic filers.
The extension to provide Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to covered individuals may mean that some people will not receive their Forms 1095-B or 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2017 income tax return. Although the information contained on Forms 1095-B and 1095-C may be used by individuals to confirm that they had “minimum essential coverage” and to determine eligibility for a premium tax credit, the Forms are not required in order to file an individual income tax return. Consequently, taxpayers wanting to file returns early in the year may have to refer to other information about their health coverage for 2017 when completing their return.
Notice 2018-06 also provides relief from penalty payments under the ACA for Forms or information returns that may contain incorrect or incomplete information (e.g., missing or inaccurate taxpayer ID numbers or dates of birth), so long as the reporting entity can show that it has made good-faith efforts to comply with the ACA information-reporting requirements, has timely provided the Forms to covered individuals and has timely filed the information returns with the IRS. In determining “good faith,” the IRS will take into account whether the employer or other coverage provider has made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting the required information to employees, covered individuals and the IRS, such as gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent to prepare the data for submission or testing its ability to transmit information to the IRS. In addition, the IRS will take into account the extent to which the employer or other coverage provider is taking steps to ensure compliance with the reporting requirements for 2018.