ACA Compliance

Section 6055 & 6056 Filing Extensions & Electronic Reporting Waiver

September 17th, 2015: IRS released final 2015 forms & instructions for ACA Reporting, finalizing the proposed filing extensions and electronic filing waiver.

  • Entities may receive an automatic 30-day filing extension, upon request.
  • An electronic reporting waiver may be requested using Form 8508.

The final 2015 versions of the forms and instructions that employers will use to report under Sections 6055 and 6056 state the following…

  1. Form 1094-B and Form 1095-B (and related instructions) will be used by entities reporting under Section 6055, including sponsors of self-insured group health plans that are not reporting as applicable large employers (ALEs).
  2. Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C (and related instructions) will be used by ALEs that are reporting under Section 6056, and for combined reporting by ALEs that sponsor self-insured plans required to report under both Sections 6055 and 6056.

The 2015 final forms remained unchanged from the 2015 draft versions. The 2015 final instructions were also largely unchanged from the 2015 draft versions, but they provide clarifications on some questions. Significantly, the instructions finalize the following key provisions:

  • An automatic 30-day filing extension, upon request (under certain hardship conditions, reporting entities may apply for an additional 30-day extension);
  • Up to 30 extra days to furnish statements to individuals; and
  • A process to obtain a waiver from the requirement to file electronically.

Filing Extensions

Reporting entities can get an automatic 30-day extension of time to file by completing and filing Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time To File Information Returns by the due date of the returns. No signature or explanation is required for the extension.

Reporting entities should file Form 8809 as soon as they know that a 30-day extension is needed for filing. The form may be submitted on paper or electronically through the FIRE System, either as a fill-in form or an electronic file. However, reporting entities are encouraged to submit requests using the online fill-in form through the FIRE System. See Publication 1220, Part B, for more information on filing online or electronically.

Under certain hardship conditions, reporting entities may apply for an additional 30-day extension. See the instructions for Form 8809 for more information.

Furnishing Extension

Reporting entities may also request an extension of time to furnish statements to recipients by sending a letter to: IRS, Information Returns Branch, Attn: Extension of Time Coordinator, 240 Murall Drive, Mail Stop 4360, Kearneysville, WV 25430. The request must be postmarked by the date on which statements are due to recipients.

The letter must include:

  • The filer’s name, taxpayer identification number (TIN) and address;
  • The type of return;
  • A statement that the extension request is for providing statements to recipients;
  • A reason for the delay; and
  • The signature of the filer or authorized agent.

If a request for an extension is approved, a maximum of 30 extra days will generally be granted to furnish the recipient statements.

Electronic Reporting Waiver

To receive a waiver from the requirement to file returns electronically, reporting entities must submit Form 8508, Request for Waiver From Filing Information Returns Electronically, at least 45 days before the due date of the returns. Reporting entities cannot apply for a waiver for more than one tax year at a time. If a waiver is needed for more than one tax year, entities must reapply at the appropriate time each year.

If a waiver for original returns is approved, any corrections for the same types of returns will be covered under the waiver. However, if a reporting entity submits original returns electronically but wants to submit corrections on paper, a waiver must be approved for the corrections if the reporting entity must file 250 or more corrections.

Entities that receive an approved waiver should not send a copy of it to the service center where paper returns are filed. Waivers should be retained for the entity’s records only.

Without an approved waiver, if a reporting entity that is required to file electronically fails to do so, it may be subject to a penalty of up to $250 per return, unless it can establish reasonable cause. However, reporting entities can file up to 250 returns on paper; those returns will not be subject to a penalty for the failure to file electronically.

Additional Resources

The IRS previously released the following final 2014 versions on Feb. 8, 2015:

These forms are not required to be filed for 2014, but reporting entities may voluntarily file them in 2015 for 2014 coverage.

The IRS also released Q&As on Section 6055 and Q&As on Section 6056, as well as a separate set of Q&As on Employer Reporting using Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C.

More Information

Please contact benefitsContinuum, Inc. for more information on reporting under Code Sections 6055 and 6056.

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