2019 ACA Information Reporting: IRS Extends Deadline and Good Faith Relief

In IRS Notice 2019-63, the IRS extended the deadline to March 2, 2020, for employers and health insurance providers to provide individuals with 2019 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C (previous date was January 31, 2020). Nonetheless, the IRS encourages employers and other coverage providers to furnish 2019 statements as soon as possible.

Below is background on the information reporting requirements added by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056:

  • Section 6055 requires health insurance issuers and small self-insured employers to file information returns with the IRS and to distribute written statements to individuals showing the months “minimum essential coverage” was provided, using Forms 1094-B and 1095-B. This reporting is used to determine an individual’s eligibility for the premium tax credit.
  • Section 6056 requires applicable large employers (generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees) to file information returns with the IRS and to distribute written statements to individuals relating to offers of and enrollment in health coverage for its full-time employees, using Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. This reporting is used to determine whether an employer owes an employer shared responsibility payment, and to determine the eligibility of employees for the premium tax credit. An applicable large employer that offers health coverage through a self-insured health plan also completes the reporting of employees’ minimum essential coverage required under section 6055 using Form 1095-C (rather than Form 1095-B).
  • The deadline for filing information returns with the IRS is February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically) following the calendar year to which the form relates.
  • Code sections 6721 and 6722 impose penalties for filing or providing untimely, incorrect or incomplete information returns to the IRS or statements to individuals.

In addition to extending the deadline for distributing statements to individuals to March 2, 2020, guidance under IRS Notice 2019-63 provides:

  • No further extensions for reporting to individuals beyond March 2, 2020, deadline. The regulations would otherwise permit the IRS to grant up to a 30-day extension to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals. However, due to the automatic extension of the deadline for providing the 2019 forms to individuals to March 2, 2020, the IRS will not grant further extensions beyond March 2, 2020.
  • No extension of deadline to file Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, 1095-C with the IRS. The deadline for filing these 2019 forms with the IRS remains February 28, 2020 (March 31, 2020, if filing electronically). However, filers may receive an automatic 30-day extension to file with the IRS by submitting Form 8809 on or before the due date.
  • No penalty for failing to provide a 2019 Form 1095-B to individuals if certain conditions are met. The IRS will not assess a penalty for failing to furnish a 2019 Form 1095-B, provided the following conditions are met: (1) the reporting entity posts a notice prominently on its website stating that individuals may receive a copy of their 2019 Form 1095-B upon request, with an email address and physical address to which a request may be sent, and a telephone number to be used to contact the reporting entity and (2) the reporting entity provides a 2019 Form 1095-B within 30 days of when a request is received.

    This relief does not extend to the requirement to provide 2019 Form 1095-C to full-time employees enrolled in self-insured plans, but does extend to the requirement to provide 2019 Form 1095-C to part-time employees enrolled in self-insured plans, subject to the conditions described above. For such part-time employees, employers will enter code 1G on line 14 for the Form 1095-C, but are not otherwise required to complete Part II of Form 1095-C.
  • “Good faith” relief applies to incorrect or incomplete information on ACA Reporting. The IRS will not assess penalties for incorrect or incomplete information if the reporting entity can show that it made a good-faith effort to comply with the information reporting requirements for 2019. The IRS will consider whether an employer or other coverage provider made reasonable efforts to prepare to report the required information to the IRS and to provide it to covered individuals. Good faith relief does not apply in the case of a failure to file information returns with the IRS or to distribute written statements to individuals.