Health coverage reporting deadline extended

By Sally Schreiber, J.D.

The IRS announced on Friday that it is extending the due dates for sending certain health care information statements to individuals as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L. 111-148 (Notice 2020-76). The IRS has extended the date every year since the PPACA’s requirement went into effect because a substantial number of employers, insurers, and other providers of health coverage need more time to gather and analyze the information they need to prepare Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, which are used to satisfy the requirement to provide the statements.

The due date to send individuals the 2020 Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C is now March 2, 2021. The original due date was Jan. 31, 2021.

However, the IRS has determined that there is no need for an extension of time for filing those forms with the IRS, or for the 2020 Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, and Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns. Those returns must be filed with the IRS by March 1, 2021, if not filing electronically, and by March 31, 2021, if filing electronically.

Sec. 6055 requires health insurance issuers, self-insuring employers, government agencies, and other providers of minimum essential coverage to file annual information returns about coverage provided. Sec. 6056 requires applicable large employers (employers with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, in the previous year) to file annual information returns about the health insurance the employer does or does not offer to its full-time employees.

Because the IRS is extending the due dates for providing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals, the normal provisions for requesting extended due dates for providing these forms will not apply. Although it is extending the due dates, the IRS encouraged employers to furnish the information statements as soon as possible.

The IRS is also extending its relief from penalties under Secs. 6721 and 6722 for taxpayers that have made good-faith efforts to comply with the 2020 reporting requirements.

Because the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97, repealed the individual shared-responsibility penalty for 2019 and after, individual taxpayers do not need the information on Form 1095-B to compute their federal tax liability or file an income tax return. In the notice. the IRS is renewing the request for comments related to the furnishing requirements under Secs. 6055 and 6056. Unless it receives comments that explain why this relief continues to be necessary, the IRS says no relief related to the Sec. 6055 and 6056 furnishing requirements will be granted in future years.

Sally P. Schreiber, J.D., (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a Tax Adviser senior editor.

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