IRS issues draft publication on filing ACA forms electronically

The IRS has released a draft publication on filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) forms electronically. The publication outlines the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for returns transmitted electronically through the AIR system. To develop software for use with the AIR system, Software Developers, Transmitters, and Issuers should use the guidelines provided in this publication along with the Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schemas published on IRS.gov.

The procedures in this publication should be used when the following information returns are transmitted electronically:

• Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns

• Form 1095-B, Health Coverage

• Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

Information Returns

• Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

• Note: The publication does not contain information or procedures for filing Forms 1095-A.

• The transmittal Forms 1094-B and Forms 1094-C provide information about the Issuer of the ACA information returns and the Forms 1095-B and 1095-C provide information about the covered individuals. The procedures in the publication should be used in conjunction with the most current version of the following publications:

• Publication 4557 – Safeguarding Taxpayer Data: A Guide for Your Business: The purpose of this publication is to provide information on legal requirements to safeguard taxpayer data. The target audience is non-government businesses involved in the preparation and filing of income tax returns.

• Publication 4600 – Safeguarding Taxpayer Information Quick Reference Guide for Businesses: Target Audience: Non-government businesses involved in the preparation and filing of tax returns. The purpose of this publication is to provide information on requirements to safeguard taxpayer information, safeguarding techniques, and data security incidents.

• Publication 5164 – Test Package for Electronic Filers of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR): This publication contains general and program specific testing information for use in completing the ACA Assurance Testing System (ATS) process for business submissions. ACA ATS is a process to test software and electronic transmissions prior to accepting Software Developers, Transmitters, and Issuers into the AIR program.

The following guides/documents provide additional guidance for filing electronically through AIR.

• AIR Submission Composition and Reference Guide, This guide provides: (1) Guidance to IRS external partners (Software Developers, Transmitters, and Issuers with composing submissions and transmission files that are sent to the IRS for processing and (2) Description of the interaction between AIR, the Trading Partners through the Information Submission Services (ISS) User Interface (UI) and Application to Application (A2A) channels.

• Automated Enrollment External User Guide. The purpose of this document is to describe the User Interface (UI) for the Automated Enrollment (AE) Application. The AE application provides authorized delegated users the ability to enroll and update Application System Identifications (ASID) using the Integrated Enterprise Portal (IEP).

• AIR publications and guides can be found on IRS.gov at AIR User Guides & Publications. (Draft Publication 5165: Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns for Software Developers and Transmitters (Processing Year 2015), April 29, 2015.)

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