IRS Releases Final Instructions, Forms for Employer Information Reporting Requirements Under Health Care Law
The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released final instructions and tax forms for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) information reporting requirements for employers and health insurers under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 (Forms 1094-B and 1095-B) and 6056 (Forms 1094-C and 1095-C). The agencies also released final transmission forms that will be used to submit the information to the IRS. The IRS initially released the draft tax forms on July 24, 2014, and the draft instructions on August 28, 2014. The final forms and instructions are largely consistent with draft forms and instructions released last summer. Instructions for electronic filing of the information returns are under development. Employers who file at least 250 forms annually are required to file electronically.
Instructions for section 6056 state that employers must provide information to the IRS and employees about coverage that employers offer to employees. Section 6055 requires employers who offer self-insured plans and insurers to report to the IRS information on individuals enrolled in coverage, including employee and dependent Social Security numbers. However, the final instructions for forms 1094-B and 1095-B clarify that health insurers may provide taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) for covered individuals who do not have Social Security numbers. The information reporting requirements generally apply to large employers under the ACA, i.e. employers with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees.
Employers must collect information about the coverage period beginning January 1, 2015, the effective date of the employer mandate. Information returns will be filed for the first time in 2016. The final regulations apply the same filing schedule used for Forms W-2 and 1099 to the section 6055 and 6056 reporting. The rules provide that section 6055 and 6056 returns must be filed annually with the IRS by March 31 if filing electronically (or by February 28 otherwise) of the year immediately following the calendar year to which the return relates. Statements to employees must be provided annually by January 31.
Editor’s Note: The content of this article was contributed by Heather Meade, Sarah Egge and Daniel Esquibel of Ernst & Young’s Washington Council EY Practice (WCEY). This information should not be relied upon as legal or tax advice.
For additional ACA resources and information, visit AGC’s Affordable Care Act webpage.
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