IRS Extends 1095-C Issuance Deadline, Offers New “Relief”

12.03.19

On December 2, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the deadline to provide copies of Form 1095-C for 2019 to full-time employees.  The extension pushes the issuance deadline back 30 days to March 2, 2020.  The original issuance deadline was January 31, 2020.

Also announced in conjunction with the issuance extension was new transition relief that recognizes the practical implications of the federal elimination of the individual mandate effective January 1, 2019.  This 2019 tax year relief provides that Form 1095-B filers will not be assessed penalties for failing to furnish these forms to covered individuals if two requirements are met:The coverage provider must post a notice on its website stating that an individual’s B Form is available and can be requested at any time. This notice must include an email address and physical address where the request can be sent and a phone number where individuals can get additional information.The coverage provider must provide any requested form within 30 days of the request.Similarly, self-insured employers subject to the ACA employer mandate who also satisfy these same two requirements do not have to issue a copy of Form 1095-C to anyone who was not considered an ACA-eligible full-time employee for at least a month in 2019.   

Neither the issuance extension nor the new transition relief impact or apply to the IRS’ form filing requirements.  Employers must still file the “B” and “C” forms with the IRS in conjunction with original filing deadlines of February 28, 2020 for manual/paper filings (allowable for under 250 Forms 1095) or March 31, 2020 (required for filers of more than 250 Forms 1095).  Also worth noting is that more states – New Jersey and the District of Columbia among them for 2019 – are imposing individual health coverage mandates that also impose separate, state filing requirements upon employers.

OUR THOUGHTS

The issuance deadline extension remains welcome news among employers who struggle early each new year to string together the various types of information needed to generate and issue accurate and complete forms.  The new transition relief, while understandable, actually serves to complicate reporting mechanics for self-insured plans by requiring extra layers of logic to be applied in order to eliminate the applicable population from the issuance task but include it for the federal and sometimes state filing tasks.  Employers should also brace for new questions from employees, many of whom are now used to getting these forms but for the reasons outlined here may still or may no longer receive one.