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IRS Defers Obamacare Reporting Deadlines

by Leroy Baker, Tax-News.com, Washington

23 November 2016


The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Notice 2016-70 extending the due dates for certain 2016 information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Within the provisions of the ACA, most Americans are required to maintain "minimum essential" health insurance coverage, and employers will be encouraged to offer that health coverage. Those individuals and employers who do not comply with these mandates – the "employee mandate" and "employer mandate" – are to make "shared responsibility" payments, or tax penalties, to the IRS.

The new Notice extends the due date for insurers, self-insuring employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage to provide information forms to the IRS and to individuals under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) from January 31 to March 2, 2017 (30 days). These returns are used by the IRS to administer – and by individuals to show compliance with – the employee mandate.

In addition, the IRS has noted that, because of the extension granted under the Notice, some individual taxpayers may not receive the information they need (for example, to show compliance with the employee mandate or to determine eligibility for the ACA's premium tax credit) by the time they are ready to file their 2016 tax return.

The agency confirmed therefore that taxpayers may rely on other information received from their employer or other coverage provider for filing their returns, and do not need to wait to receive the forms (which, if received later than tax-filing, should be retained and not sent to the IRS).

In addition, the information reporting requirements for applicable large employers under section 6056 of the IRC have been similarly extended. This information is used by the IRS to administer the employer mandate.

The IRS explained that it has granted the 2016 reporting extensions as it has found that a substantial number of employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time beyond January 31, 2017, to gather and analyze data and prepare the 2016 forms. It does not anticipate extending this transition relief to reporting for 2017.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | business | tax compliance | law | insurance | tax credits | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | tax authority | health care | legislation | United States | penalties

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