The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a notice 12-28-2015 (Notice 2016-4) that it is extending the 2015 tax year filing deadlines for health benefits reporting required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This guidance applies to filings required by both small and/or applicable large self-funded employers, Forms 1094-B and 1095-B and Forms 1094-C and 1095-C respectively.

The new deadlines for these IRS filings are as follows:

    • The requirement to issue Form 1095-B or 1095-C to health plan participants has been delayed from February 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016, providing employers with two more months to distribute the required notification to individuals.
    • Employers now have three additional months to file Forms 1094-B, 1095-B or Forms 1094-C, 1095-C with the IRS.
    • If filing these forms electronically, the deadline has been extended from March 31, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
    • If not filing electronically, the deadline has been extended from February 29, 2016 to May 31, 2016.

It’s important to remember that these filings are still required for the 2015 tax year. Only the deadlines at this point have been delayed; however, the IRS will accept filings as early as January.

The IRS encourages employers to meet the new filing deadlines as requests made for additional time will not be granted and failure to meet the new deadlines may result in a penalty.

Employers should still furnish and file their 1094/95 forms even if they are not able to meet the new deadlines. The IRS will determine on a case-by-case basis whether an employer’s efforts to meet the deadlines were deserving of a penalty waiver.