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IRS Extends Obamacare Reporting Requirements

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

30 December 2015

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Notice 2016-04 extending the due dates for 2015 information reporting 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 dates 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 (Code) from February 1 to March 31, 2016. These returns are used by the IRS to administer – and by individuals to show compliance with – the employee mandate.

In addition, the information reporting requirements for applicable large employers under section 6056 of the Code have been extended from February 29 to May 31, 2016, if not e-filing, and from March 31 to June 30, 2016, if e-filing. This information is being provided for the first time in 2016, and is used by the IRS to administer the employer mandate. It is also determines, in part, whether an employee is eligible for the ACA's premium tax credit.

"As part of our efforts to implement the ACA, the Treasury Department and the IRS are responding to feedback from private sector businesses and insurers and providing additional time for employer and insurer reporting under the ACA for the first year," said Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur.

The Notice also provides guidance to individuals who, as a result of these extensions, might not receive information by the time they file their 2015 tax returns. It is confirmed that affected individuals need not amend their returns once they receive the information.

The Treasury Department added that "the vast majority of individual taxpayers will not be affected by this extension. Like last tax filing season, most individuals will simply check a box on their tax return indicating they had health coverage for the entire year."

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

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