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A Holiday Surprise – IRS Extends Certain ACA Reporting Deadlines and Transition Relief

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The IRS delivered welcome news to employers preparing to meet the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) information reporting deadlines in early 2019 for the 2018 calendar year. In Notice 2018-94 (the “Notice”), the IRS extended the employer’s deadline to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees. The new deadlines are provided below.

Original Distribution Deadline Extended Distribution Deadline
Form 1095-B (to employees) January 31, 2019 March 4, 2019
Form 1095-C (to employees) January 31, 2019 March 4, 2019

It is important to note that the Notice does not extend the deadline for filing Forms with the IRS. The deadline to file with the IRS remains February 28, 2019 (for paper filings) and April 1, 2019 (for electronic filings).

In light of this relief, the IRS will not accept automatic or permissive extensions to furnish Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to employees. However, employers may still seek extensions for filing with the IRS by submitting Form 8809.

Employers may be relieved to find that the Notice also extends good faith transition relief for ACA reporting for the 2018 calendar year. As in prior years, employers who submit incorrect or incomplete information returns may be relieved from penalties if they can show that they made good-faith efforts to comply with the reporting requirements.

Even given the extended deadline to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C and the extended good-faith penalty relief, employers may wish to continue to gather the information required to complete, distribute and file their returns as soon as they are ready.

For more information about the ACA information reporting requirements, please see our October 24, 2018 SW Benefits Update, “2018 End of Year Plan Sponsor ‘To Do’ List (Part 1) – Health and Welfare.”