IRS Extends Deadline for Distribution of Forms 1095
December 4, 2018
Mary van Balen
Once again the IRS has extended the deadline for employer distribution of Form 1095-B and 1095-C from January 31, 2019 to March 4, 2019. The extension was announced on November 29 in IRS Notice 2018-94, and the same reason given for the past two years was reiterated: Following consultation with stakeholders, the Department of the Treasury and the Service have determined that a substantial number of employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time beyond the January 31, 2019, due date to gather and analyze the information and prepare the 2018 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to be furnished to individuals.
There is no need to apply for this automatic extension. The IRS encourages employers and others who provide coverage to furnish the statements as soon as possible. Since W-2 forms must be distributed to employees by January 31, some employers may prefer to distribute the 1095s at the same time. No similar extension has been granted for filing, so those dates remain February 28, 2019, if not filing electronically and April 1, 2019, if filing electronically. (Employers that file 250 or more information returns must file them electronically.)
With this automatic extension, the additional 30-day extension that is usually available with the show of good faith is not available.
An extension of 30 days for filing Information returns is available to employers who submit Form 8809 on or before those deadlines.
What about filing income tax returns?
The IRS realizes that, as a result of this extension, some individuals may not receive their 1095 forms before they are ready to file their income tax reforms. If that is the case, individuals may use other information received from their employers or other coverage providers to complete their tax reforms. Taxpayers do not need to send this information to the IRS but should keep it filed with their tax records.
Good Faith Transition Relief
Recognizing the challenges of gathering information and completing all forms, the IRS has decided to extend the short-term relief from penalties initiated last year to include 2018 reporting. This relief from penalties under sections 6721 and 6722 is provided to those who can show they have made good-faith efforts to comply with requirements regarding both furnishing forms to individuals and filing forms with the IRS. This relief applies only to inaccurate or incomplete information reported on the statement or return. (See IRS Notice 2018-94 for details.) While not guaranteed, the relief is frequently granted.
If, after reading the notice, you still have questions, call Danielle Pierce of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration). She is the main author of this notice and can be reached at 202.317.6845 (not a toll-free call).
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