IRS Extends ACA Employer Reporting Requirements
The IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a limited extension of the early 2016 due dates for the 2015 information reporting requirements for employers and insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the notice extends by two months the February 1 due date for employers and insurers to provide individuals with forms reporting on offers of health coverage and coverage provided. The February 29 and March 31 deadlines for reporting this information to the IRS (by paper or electronically, respectively) are extended by three months.
The vast majority of individual taxpayers will not be affected by this extension. Similar to the 2014 tax filing season, most individuals will simply check a box on their tax return indicating they had health coverage for the entire year. These forms provide individuals with a record of their health coverage but do not need to be attached to the tax return. In that respect, they are similar to 1099 information reporting forms.
This notice also provides guidance to the limited number of individuals who might be affected by the extension. In particular, individuals who rely on other information about their health care in order to complete their tax returns will not be required to amend.
This may be welcomed news for certain employers who were not fully prepared for the previous February 1 deadline. However, the IRS said that they are still prepared to begin accepting this reporting in January, and they encourage employers and insurers to begin reporting to employees and other individuals as soon as possible. The IRS indicates that the extension will not materially affect their ability to use the information provided by employers to verify compliance.
If you have any question about how the new ACA provisions impact you directly, please contact your AAFCPA partner, or Rich Weiner, CPA, Partner at 774.512.4078, firstname.lastname@example.org.