On Thursday June 30th, the IRS released an alert concerning filing of information returns required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large employers (50 or more FTEs including full-time equivalents) and employers of any size who sponsor self-insured coverage were required to report to employees and to the IRS concerning 2015 health insurance offers and enrollment in coverage. Copies of the individual Forms 1095 already provided to employees were due to be filed with the IRS no later than May 31, 2016 if filed on paper (fewer than 250 employee statements) or June 30, 2016 if filing electronically (more than 250 employee statements).
In the alert, the IRS stated that electronically filed ACA information returns may continue to be filed after June 30, 2016, even if employers were unable to meet the IRS deadline of midnight EST on June 30, 2016. The IRS’ electronic filing system, ACA Information Return (AIR), will continue to accept information returns filed after June 30, 2016. Additionally, employers filing electronically are required to complete system testing, which can also be completed after June 30, 2016.
Penalties may be imposed for late filings submitted after the deadline. However, there is some good news for employers who were unable to complete the electronic filing process prior to the deadline. The IRS Quick Alert assures employers that filers will not generally be assessed late filing penalties if the employer:
- has made legitimate efforts to register with the AIR system and to file its information returns, and
- continues to make such efforts and completes the process as soon as possible.
Late filers that are assessed penalties may still qualify for a waiver of penalties if the IRS determines that "reasonable cause" existed for the delay.
Employers who met the June 30, 2016 electronic filing deadline should have received a status within approximately seven days from the AIR system indicating whether their return was accepted and if the submission contained errors. See here. The IRS QuickAlert reminds employers that, if any of your transmissions or submissions was rejected by the AIR system, you have 60 days from the date of rejection to submit a replacement and have the rejected submission treated as timely filed. If you submitted and received "Accepted with Errors" messages, you may continue to submit corrections after June 30, 2016.
The alert also emphasizes that, if you are not an electronic filer and you missed the May 31, 2016 paper filing deadline for ACA information returns, you should complete the filing of your paper returns as soon as possible.
For more information about this and other regulatory developments, visit our website at www.HCReducation.com.