IRS updates electronic filing specifications for ACA forms

The IRS has issued the electronic filing specifications for ACA forms. Publication 5164, Test Package for Electronic Filers of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR) Processing Year 2017 contains general and program specific testing information for use with ACA Assurance Testing System (AATS). AATS refers to both the process and the system used to test software and electronic transmissions prior to accepting forms from Software Developers, Transmitters and Issuers into the production AIR System. Software Developers are required to pass IRS pre-defined AATS test scenarios for the forms that the software package will support. Transmitters and Issuers are also required to pass a one-time communication tests for the forms they will file. Please note that all references to Transmitters include Issuers. AATS Test scenarios are available on the irs.gov Affordable Care Act Assurance Testing System (AATS) Information.

Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR) for Software Developers and Transmitters (Processing Year [PY] 2017), outlines the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for information 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 the publication should be used when the following information returns are transmitted electronically for TY2015 and TY2016 in PY2017:

• 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.

The publication does not contain information or procedures for filing Forms 1095-A. (IRS. Pub. 5164, Test Package for Electronic Filers of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR) (Processing Year 2017); (Rev. 9-2016); IRS. Pub. 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns for Software Developers and Transmitters (Processing Year 2017), (Rev. 9-2016).)

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