On Monday, December 28, 2015, the IRS and Department of the Treasury issued Notice 2016-4. In the notice, the agency extended both furnishing to individuals their 1095 Forms along with filing deadlines to the IRS.
The IRS stated: “We have determined that some employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage, need additional time to adapt and implement systems and procedures to gather, analyze, and report their information.”
For furnishing employees with the 2015 Form 1095-B (health coverage) and Form 1095-C (employer provided health insurance offer and coverage), the IRS has extended the deadline of getting these forms to their employees from 2-1-16 to 3-31-16.
For filing with the IRS, the 2015 Form 1094-B (transmittal of health coverage information), Form 1095-B, Form 1094-C (transmittal of employer provided health coverage information), and Form 1095-C, the agency has extended the deadline from 2-29-16 to 5-31-16 if NOT filing electronically (for groups of under 250 FTEs), and from 3-31-16 to 6-30-16 if filing electronically (for groups of over 250 FTEs). Any employer filing 250 or more forms must do so electronically.
The IRS added: “Notwithstanding the extensions provided in this notice, employers and other coverage providers are encouraged to furnish statements and file the information returns as soon as they are ready.” These extensions apply automatically to all reporting entities. The IRS had previously stated that it will not impose penalties on reporting entities that can show that they have made “good faith” efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements. This relief applies only to furnishing and filing incorrect or incomplete information, not to a failure to timely furnish or file a statement or return. Penalties would not be imposed if the reporting entity can demonstrate that it acted in a responsible manner and the failure was due to significant mitigating factors or events beyond the reporting entity’s control.
Notice 2016-4 provides additional information on relief from penalties:
- Reporting entities that do not comply with the extended due dates are subject to penalties. However, entities that do not meet the extended due dates are still encouraged to furnish and file, and the IRS will take this furnishing and filing into consideration when determining whether to decrease penalties for reasonable cause.
- The IRS will also take into account whether a reporting entity made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting, such as gathering and transmitting the necessary data to prepare the data for submission to the IRS or testing its ability to transmit information to the IRS.
- The IRS will take into account the extent to which the employer or other coverage provider is taking steps to ensure that it is able to comply with the reporting requirements for 2016.