Employee Benefits-IRS Extends The Due Dates For 2015 Information Reporting Under Sections 6055 And 6056 Of the Code

In General. In Notice 2016-4 (the “Notice”), the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) extends the due dates for the 2015 information reporting requirements under sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”).

Specifically, the Notice extends the due date for 2015 Forms as follows:

(1) for furnishing to individuals the Forms 1095-B and 1095-C, from February 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016; and

(2) for filing with the IRS the Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C, from February 29, 2016, to May 31, 2016, if not filing electronically, and from March 31, 2016, to June 30, 2016 if filing electronically.

The Notice also provides guidance, in the form of transition relief, to individuals who might not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they file their 2015 tax returns.

Background. Sections 6055 and 6056 were added to the Code by the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) (section 6056 was later amended). Section 6055 requires health insurance issuers, self-insuring employers, government agencies, and other providers of minimum essential coverage to file and furnish annual information returns and statements regarding coverage provided. Section 6056 requires applicable large employers (generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, in the previous year) to file and furnish annual information returns and statements relating to the health insurance that the employer offers (or does not offer) to its full-time employees.

Previous Deadlines And Forms To File. Final regulations, published on March 10, 2014, relating to the reporting requirements under sections 6055 and 6056, specify the deadlines for information reporting required by those sections.

The regulations under section 6055 provide that every person that provides minimum essential coverage to an individual during a calendar year must file with the IRS an information return and a transmittal on or before the following February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically) and must furnish to the responsible individual identified on the return a written statement on or before January 31 following that calendar year. The IRS has designated Form 1094-B and Form 1095-B to meet the requirements of the section 6055 regulations.

The regulations under section 6056 require every applicable large employer or a member of an aggregated group that is determined to be an applicable large employer (ALE member) to file with the IRS an information return and a transmittal on or before February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically) of the year following the calendar year to which it relates and to furnish to full-time employees a written statement on or before January 31 following that calendar year. The IRS has designated Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C to meet the requirements of the section 6056 regulations.

Note: In 2016, since the January 31 and February 28 due dates described above fall on the weekend, these two due dates are February 1 and February 29, respectively. And, those due dates were extended by the Notice, as described above.

Transition Relief. To be discussed in an upcoming blog.