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Finally, Some Good News: IRS Extends Certain ACA Reporting Deadlines and Transition Relief

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As in prior years, the IRS has provided relief for employers preparing to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) information reporting requirements in early 2021 for the 2020 calendar year. In particular, Notice 2020-76 (the “Notice”) extends the deadline to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees. The new deadlines are provided, below.

Original Deadline Extended Deadline
Form 1095-B (to employees) January 31, 2021 March 2, 2021
Form 1095-C (to employees) January 31, 2021 March 2, 2021

Importantly, the Notice does not extend the deadline for filing Forms with the IRS.  Instead, the deadline to file with the IRS remains February 28, 2021 (for paper filings) and March 31, 2021 (for electronic filings).

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.

The Notice also extends good faith transition relief for ACA reporting for the 2020 calendar year. Under this relief, employers who submit incorrect or incomplete information returns may be relieved from penalties if they can show good faith efforts to comply. The Notice indicates that this relief has always been intended to be transitional and that it will no longer be available in future years.

Despite the extended deadlines, employers may nonetheless wish to continue to gather the information required to complete, distribute and file the returns in early 2021.

For more information about the ACA information reporting requirements, please see our September 24, 2020 SW Benefits Update, “2020 End of Year Plan Sponsor ‘To Do’ List (Part I) – Health and Welfare.”