Employee Benefits Compliance, Large Employers, Penalties, Reporting Requirements

IRS Will Accept ACA Information Returns After June 30th

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Employers who missed the June 30th deadline to file their information returns (1094-C/1095-Cs) electronically via the IRS AIR system should continue to make efforts to file their returns as soon as possible. The IRS has announced that electronic Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns may continue to be filed after the June 30th deadline.

The IRS also said it will not assess penalties for late filing on reporting entities that have made legitimate efforts to file information returns, if they continue to make efforts and complete the process as soon as possible. The IRS announcement did not specify what constitutes “legitimate efforts” or “as soon as possible.”

In addition, late filing penalties may be waived in some cases, for reasonable cause.


Additional Information for Electronic Filers

  • Employers can still complete required system testing after June 30, 2016.  (Filing electronically requires advance testing, which should already have been completed.)
  • If an employer submitted by June 30th but the transmission or submission was rejected by the AIR system, the IRS will treat it as timely filed if the reporting entity submits a replacement filing within 60 days from the date of rejection.
  • If a reporting entity submitted and received “Accepted with Errors” messages, it may continue to submit corrections after June 30, 2016.  (Many employers received “Accepted with Errors” messages.)
  • The IRS announcement reiterated that large employers who miss the June 30th deadline generally will not be assessed late filing penalties under section 6721 if the reporting entity has made legitimate efforts to register with the AIR system and to file its information returns, and it continues to make such efforts and completes the process as soon as possible.
  • Even if a late filer does not meet the above criteria, it might still, consistent with existing information reporting rules, meet the criteria for a “reasonable cause” waiver from the penalties.


Late Paper Filers Might Consider Filing Electronically

Employers who are not electronic filers but missed the May 31, 2016, paper filing deadline should also complete the filing of paper returns as soon as possible.  Since electronic filings are not due until one month after paper filings, and since employers who file fewer than 250 1095-Cs can elect to file electronically or on paper, some of these employers might want to file electronically to gain the additional month, especially since they might avoid penalties, based on this June 30th IRS announcement.