On Monday, December 28, 2015, the IRS provided employers, payroll vendors, and third party reporting solutions with a short reprieve from the looming ACA reporting deadlines under Code 6055 and Code 6056. IRS Notice 2016-4 extends the deadlines for distributing employee statements and for filing reports with the IRS.
The general deadlines follow the Form W-2 distribution and filing deadlines. However, for filing of 2015 forms in 2016, the following deadlines apply:
It is important to note that the original process for applying for an extension to either the distribution deadline or the filing deadline is no longer available. Any pending or future requests for extensions will be denied. In other words, there are no permissive or automatic extensions available beyond the extended deadlines provided in Notice 2016-4. Employers and coverage providers who do not meet these new deadlines may be subject to penalties for failure to timely furnish and file.
The IRS encouraged employers and other coverage providers to furnish and file as soon as they are ready, as the new deadlines mean that many individuals may not receive Form 1095-B or 1095-C prior to the individual tax filing deadline.
This extension is good news for many employers and other coverage providers subject to the filing requirements. Payroll vendors and other third party service providers have built systems and software to populate the forms electronically with the correct codes based on offer information, the cost of coverage, employee status, and enrollment information. However, many of these systems are still adjusting their programming to account for regulatory ambiguities and to resolve coding errors that have appeared now that the programming can be applied to nearly a full year’s worth of data.
Employers and other coverage providers are encouraged to use this additional time to perform a thorough review of completed forms for completeness and accuracy. Time spent reviewing forms now may reduce the likelihood of errors and ultimately reduce the risk of audit or penalties assessed as a result of coding errors.