IRS Releases Draft Forms and Instructions for 2017 ACA Reporting
By Danielle Capilla, Chief Compliance Officer for United Benefit Advisors
nder the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals are required to have health insurance while applicable large employers (ALEs) are required to offer health benefits to their full-time employees.
Reporting is required by employers with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees, insurers, or sponsors of self-funded health plans, on health coverage that is offered in order for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify that:
- Individuals have the required minimum essential coverage,
- Individuals who request premium tax credits are entitled to them, and
- ALEs are meeting their shared responsibility (play or pay) obligations.
2017 Draft Forms and Instructions
Draft instructions for both the 1094-B and 1095-B and the 1094-C and 1095-C were released, as were the draft forms for 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C. There are no substantive changes in the forms or instructions between 2016 and 2017, beyond the further removal of now-expired forms of transition relief.
In past years the IRS provided relief to employers who make a good faith effort to comply with the information reporting requirements and determined that they will not be subject to penalties for failure to correctly or completely file. This did not apply to employers that fail to timely file or furnish a statement. For 2017, the IRS has unofficially indicated that the “good faith compliance efforts” relating to reporting requirements will not be extended. Employers should be ready to fully meet the reporting requirements in early 2018 with a high degree of accuracy. There is however relief for de minimis errors on Line 15 of the 1095-C.
The IRS also confirmed there is no code for the Form 1095-C, Line 16 to indicate an individual waived an offer of coverage. The IRS also kept the “plan start month” box as an optional item for 2017 reporting.
Employers must remember to provide all printed forms in landscape, not portrait.
When? Which Employers?
Reporting will be due early in 2018, based on coverage in 2017.
For calendar year 2017, Forms 1094-C, 1095-C, 1094-B, and 1095-B must be filed by February 28, 2018, or April 2, 2018, if filing electronically. Statements to employees must be furnished by January 31, 2018. In late 2016, a filing deadline was provided for forms due in early 2017, however it is unknown if that extension will be provided for forms due in early 2018. Until employers are told otherwise, they should plan on meeting the current deadlines.
All reporting will be for the 2017 calendar year, even for non-calendar year plans. The reporting requirements are in Sections 6055 and 6056 of the ACA.
For an at-a-glance chart of all reporting requirements, as well as information on penalties for failure to file, 6055 requirements and instructions for certain boxes/lines on 1095C, request UBA’s ACA Advisor, “IRS Releases Draft Forms and Instructions for 2017 ACA Reporting“.