On November 18, the IRS issued Notice 2016-70, which delays certain aspects of the ACA information reporting for 2016. Specifically, Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) won't be required to issue 1095B or 1095C reports to their full-time employees until March 2, 2017, for the 2016 tax year. Citing employer input, the Service has determined that employers and tax preparers need additional time to correctly complete their 1095 reports, and have subsequently given all ALEs the automatic 30 day extension that they would otherwise have to request directly from the IRS. Importantly, this doesn't affect 1094B or 1094C reporting that you may have to complete. Those deadlines remain the same – February 28, 2017 for ALEs filing paper 1095s, and March 31, 2017 for ALEs filing electronically.
Additionally, the IRS is indicating they're once again not going to require individuals to file their 1095(s) with their personal tax returns, but instead simply require taxpayers to retain copies of their 1095s in case they're needed in an audit. Also, employers will be able to take advantage of the “good faith” effort transitional relief that was available for the 2015 ACA reporting, which is to say the IRS won't fine ALEs who demonstrate a good faith effort in the timely completion and filing of their reports, even if those reports contain errors. Put another way, employers will want to make sure they get their filing done on time, even if that means some forms will have to be refiled to correct errors, in order to avoid penalties for incorrect 1095s.
As always, your Assurance 'A' Team is ready to assist with any questions you may have. We will continue to monitor this and other related ACA issues and provide additional information as it becomes available.