IRS Releases Draft Employer Reporting Documents

IRS Releases Draft Employer Reporting Documents

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released draft versions of the instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B and Forms 1094-C and 1095-C that health insurers, self-funded health employer plans, and applicable large employers will use in early 2018 to report coverage details to employees and the IRS for the 2017 tax year.   Based on these forms, it appears that the upcoming employer reporting process will be very similar to past years except that the deadlines for 2017 reporting are tentatively scheduled for earlier in 2018 than with 2016 and 2015 reporting.  Also, to-date the Trump Administration has not extended employers the good-faith compliance relief they had previously.

Employers and issuers will need to provide employees and covered individuals with their Forms 1095 B or C by January 31, 2018, which is a whole month earlier than last year.  Applicable large employers and self-funded plans need to make sure their forms 1094 B or C are submitted to the IRS by February 28, 2018, if they are filing on paper. Electronically filed forms are due to the IRS by April 2, 2018, but businesses can get an automatic 30-day extension for either paper or electronic form submission by filing Form 8809.

Also, based on the draft document release, the most substantive change to the employer reporting process for 2017 will be the elimination of most transition relief.  In 2015 and 2016, some businesses qualified for transition relief that protected them from penalties if the employer failed to offer minimum essential coverage to all applicable employees or affordable minimum value coverage for parts of the year.  That protection has been fully phased out.

The IRS is expected to release final versions of these forms and instructions by the end of October. Kistler Tiffany Benefits will be hosting reporting workshops and recording a reporting webinar when the final forms are published.