The IRS has extended the deadlines for furnishing to employees the new Forms 1095 and filing these Forms with the IRS. The Forms are designed to confirm compliance with the employer and individual health insurance mandates under the Affordable Care Act. IRS Notice 2016-4 provides the following new deadlines:
- Furnishing to Employees: 2015 Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage (for small employers offering self-funded plans) and 1095-C, Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage (for “all applicable large employers”) must now be furnished to employees no later than March 31, 2016. The original due date was February 1, 2016.
- Filing with IRS: The Forms 1095, along with the applicable 1094 transmittal form, must now be filed with the IRS by May 31, 2016, if filed manually, or by June 30, 2016, if filed electronically. The original due date was February 29, 2016 (March 31, 2016, if filed electronically).
The extended disclosure and filing dates apply automatically to all filers, so no request for an extension is necessary for the 2015 filings. The statutory provisions regarding automatic and permissive extensions of time for filing the Forms with the IRS and permissive extensions of time for furnishing the Forms to employees will not apply to the extended due dates. Therefore, employers who do not meet the extended due dates are subject to penalties for failure to timely furnish and file.
Recognizing that the extended disclosure deadline of March 31 may cause employees to delay filing their individual federal income tax returns, the IRS Notice provides some relief for individuals as well. The affected individuals may rely on other information provided by their employers and will not be required to amend their tax returns once they receive the Forms 1095. Employers who take advantage of the extended deadline should notify their employees of the delay and consider alternative means of providing the information employees need to file their income tax returns.