IRS issues 2015 Form 1094 and 1095 series

The IRS has released the 2015 Form 1094 and 1095 series: All of the forms and instructions are reproduced in the New Developments division of this Report at 9529.

When to report Applicable large employers (ALE) must file Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, and Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, with the IRS annually, no later than February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically) of the year immediately following the calendar year to which the return relates. This is the same filing schedule applicable to other information returns commonly filed by employers, such as Forms W-2 and 1099.

Also, ALEs are required to furnish a statement to each full-time employee that includes the same information provided to the IRS, by January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year for which the information relates.

Transition relief provides that employers do not have to file information returns with the IRS and furnish statements to their full-time employees until 2016 for the 2015 year. Thus, under this transition relief, the first statements to employees must be furnished by January 31, 2016, and the first information returns to the IRS must be filed by February 28, 2016 (March 31, 2016, if filed electronically).

Although the first information returns and employee statements are not due until 2016 for the 2015 year, employers may choose to file for the 2014 year. ALEs may voluntarily comply with these information reporting provisions for 2014 in preparation for the full application of the provisions for 2015. No penalties will be applied for failure to comply with these information reporting provisions for 2014. ALEs who are self-insured – that is, employers who sponsor self-insured group health plans – are subject to the employer information reporting requirements as well as the reporting requirements for providers of minimum essential coverage.

Self-insured employers Employers, whether or not they are ALEs, that are self-insured – that is, employers who sponsor self-insured group health plans – must report information about employees (and their spouse and dependents) who enroll in coverage under the information reporting requirements for providers of minimum essential coverage. Self-insured employers that are ALEs must use Form 1095-C and the transmittal Form 1094-C to meet their reporting requirements.

Employers who are not ALEs but who sponsor self-insured group health plans must report information about employees (and their spouse and dependents) who enroll in the coverage to their employees, even though the employers are not subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions or the information reporting requirements for ALEs. These non-ALEs use Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the transmittal Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, to meet the information reporting requirements for providers of minimum essential coverage.

How to file electronically Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C are subject to the requirements to file returns electronically. ALEs that file 250 or more information returns must file the returns electronically through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR) program. For information on the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for returns transmitted electronically through the AIR system, ALEs should review draft Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns. The 250-or-more requirement applies separately to each type of return and separately to each type of corrected return.

For more information on the electronic filing requirement see the Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. ALEs must furnish a Form 1095-C to each of their full-time employees on paper by mail, unless the recipient affirmatively consents to receive the statement in an electronic format. The requirement for affirmative consent to receive the statement in electronic format ensures that statements are furnished electronically only to individuals who are able to access them. An individual may consent on paper or electronically. If consent is on paper, the individual must confirm the consent electronically. (http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Employers/Information-Reporting-by-Applicable-Large-Employers, September 2015.)

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