Employer Blog

Obama Administration Releases Final ACA Employer Reporting Forms and Instructions

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service released final instructions and tax forms for the Affordable Care Act’s information reporting requirements. These requirements apply to employers and health insurers as set out in Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 (Forms 1094-B and 1095-B) and 6056 (Forms 1094-C and 1095-C). The agencies also released final transmission forms that will be used to submit the information to the IRS. The final forms and instructions are largely consistent with draft forms and instructions released last summer. Employers that file at least 250 forms annually are required to file electronically. Instructions for electronic filing of the information remain under development.

Under Section 6056 of the code, employers must provide information to the IRS and employees about coverage that employers offer to employees. Section 6055 requires employers that offer self-insured plans and insurers to report to the IRS information on individuals enrolled in coverage, including Social Security numbers for employees and their dependents. However, the final instructions for forms 1094-B and 1095-B clarify that health insurers may provide taxpayer identification numbers for covered individuals who do not have Social Security numbers.. The information reporting requirements generally apply to large employers under the ACA, i.e., employers with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees (100 or more for 2015).

Employers must collect information about the coverage period beginning Jan. 1, 2015—the effective date of the employer mandate. Information returns will be filed for the first time in 2016. The final regulations apply the same filing schedule used for Form W-2 and Form 1099 to the section 6055 and 6056 reporting. The rules provide that section 6055 and 6056 returns must be filed annually with the IRS by Feb. 28, or by March 31 if filing electronically, of the year immediately following the calendar year to which the return relates. Statements to employees must be provided annually by Jan. 31.

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