IRS Extends Due Date for Forms 1095-B and 1095-C Relating to Minimum Essential Coverage

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December 22, 2017

In an early Christmas present for providers of minimum essential coverage and applicable large employers, the IRS released Notice 2018-06 today, extending the deadline for furnishing statements to individuals regarding insurance coverage provided to them for the 2017 tax year.  The deadline, which was January 31, 2018, is pushed back thirty days to March 2, 2018.  The notice also extends the good faith transition relief announced in Notices 2015-68 and 2015-87 (and extended by Notice 2016-70) to 2017 information returns.

Code sections 6055 and 6056 require providers of minimum essential coverage to file and furnish annual information returns and statements regarding the coverage they provide to both individuals and the IRS.  Providers furnish this information to individuals on Form 1095-B, “Health Coverage,” and Form 1095-C, “Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.”  Failure to timely furnish such forms subjects providers to penalties under Code sections 6721 and 6722.

After consulting with employers, insurers, and other providers, the IRS determined that additional time was needed for those entities to comply with certain minimum essential coverage reporting requirements.  Accordingly, the IRS granted the 30-day extension available under Treasury Regulation §§ 1.6055-1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) and 301.6056-1(g)(1)(ii)(A) and will not impose certain penalties with respect to such forms if taxpayers demonstrate a good-faith effort to comply.  Notably, the extension only applies to the furnishing of such forms to individuals—it does not extend the filing deadline or provide penalty relief for forms required to be furnished to the IRS.  The deadline for filings the forms with the IRS is February 28, 2018, for paper filers and April 2, 2018, for electronic filers.  The notice provides similar relief to notices issued in prior years (e.g., Notice 2016-70 with respect to 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C, discussed here), but the IRS cautions that no comparable relief is expected to be issued next year with respect to 2018 reporting.

This extension may require individuals to file their individual tax returns before receiving a Form 1095-B or 1095-C.  In such cases, Notice 2018-06 permits such individuals to rely on other information received from their employer or coverage provider for purposes of filing their returns.  As in earlier years, copies of Form 1095-B and 1095-C are not required to be filed with individual taxpayer returns.