The IRS has recently issued Notice 2016-70: Extension of Due Date For Furnishing 1095-B/C Statements and of Good Faith Transition Relief For ACA Reporting. With this new extension, employers and insurers have until March 2nd, 2017 to distribute Forms 1095-B/C to employees. While this is generous, employees now face new roadblocks when completing their personal tax filings.
Employers must recognize that their employees will want to file as soon as possible whether they like it or not. The post-Holidays tax filing initiative will kick in and many employees will be pressing for their necessary forms. Responding and delivering their needs is an employee communications responsibility and we recommend that you start early. Contrary to popular belief, individuals do not need to wait for their Form 1095-B/C in order to file their personal tax returns. While the information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, they are not required. Their health insurance provider will have the information they need to file.
The IRS recommends on Notice 2016-70 (attached),"Because of the extension granted under this notice, some individual taxpayers may not receive Form 1095-B/C by the time they are ready to file their 2016 tax return. Taxpayers may rely on other information received from their employer or other coverage provider for purposes of filing their returns, including determining eligibility for the premium tax credit under section 36B and confirming they had minimum essential coverage for purposes of sections 36B and 5000A. Taxpayers do not need to wait to receive Forms 1095-B/C before filing their returns. Individuals do not need to send the information relied upon to the Service when filing their returns but should keep it with their tax records."
Although the deadline for furnishing Forms 1095-B/C has now been extended until March 2nd, 2017, we strongly recommend all employers follow the original January 31st, 2017 deadline and use the new extension as a back-up plan. Not only will your employees be happy but this will provide you with the extra time to make any corrections if needed before approaching any penalties. As a reminder, if you are just one day late to furnish Forms 1095-B/C after the March 2nd. 2017 deadline, you will be charged $50 per return. Once you're over 31 days late, $100/return. The penalties only increase, why not start early and guarantee that you've done the work to avoid costly fees?
How BenefitScape Can Help
Like the IRS, we recommend that you get started today on your ACA Reporting and Compliance responsbilities. Compiling and transforming data and furnishing Forms 1095-B/C is a complex process involving significant time and resources. Our team can support you in completing your ACA responsibilities and avoiding steep penalties by providing accurate and timely results. Get started today by calling us at (508) 655-3307, or email Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org